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Winds of Change are Blowing…

CB-APA_Random-WebMy grandfather used to say “if you’re not changing and growing, you’re dying,” long before Tony Robbins coined the phrase.  I’ve always taken that wisdom to heart and am now preparing for the next chapter of my professional life.  As I shared in an article in the April issue of the APA Monitor, my next chapter will focus on spending more time with my family and enjoying an active lifestyle of hiking, trail running and cycling (hopefully for many years to come).  I am now accepting new clients only by referral and beginning in 2016, will cease taking new individual clients.  My current clients don’t have to worry– I will maintain a caseload of select individuals and have no intention of abandoning anyone.   I have a number of internet projects to pursue that will hopefully provide tools for athletes, performers and performance consultants, and provide professional outlets for creativity and generativity. These projects include mental skills training videos, webinars for coaches and teams, and a special series of conversations with some of the top sport/performance consultants in the world.

Don’t get me wrong– I love my work and consider it a privilege to have been invited to share the lives of so many gifted performers over the years.  I’ve been blessed with an abundance of trusted colleagues whom I am honored to call “friend.”  I am a proponent of intentional living, however, and it is time for a new chapter.

Our ancestors learned years ago when travel was by swinging tree to tree that if you want to make any progress, you must be willing to let go of what you’ve been holding on to.

 

Is Adult Anger in Youth Sports Spiraling Out of Control?

Youth Sports Perspective

Is Adult Anger in Youth Sports Out of Control?

While the experience of anger in youth sport is not new (the Rutgers Youth Sport Research Council has an excellent article on-line documenting adult violence at youth sporting events occurring 25 years ago), there are factors that make the matter more volatile today.   One of the major concerns is when parents begin seeing their child’s sport participation as an “investment.”  Rather than encouraging a child to play for fun and to learn life skills such as teamwork, leadership and discipline, sport participation is viewed as a way to get a scholarship or a big paycheck as a professional athlete.  Too often this can lead to thinking in terms of “ownership” of the athlete and wanting to protect the investment, rather than pride in your child.

It is natural for a parent to want his or her child to play well and perform at their peak ability; however there are times that this goes overboard.  Over-emphasis on winning and “being a good investment” easily leads to burnout of many talented young athletes.  One of the antidotes of burnout is to make certain that the young athlete has an identity beyond sport.  The challenge is to broaden the yardstick by which success is measured.  If the sole yardstick is “winning,” “showcasing talent” or “scholarship offers,” a parent may be short-changing their child.  If the yardstick is broadened to include relationships with others, relationship with self (understanding oneself and one’s emotions), and relationship with a higher power (e.g., God, not a Division I coach), then a parent can make decisions (and behave) in a manner that prepares the youth for true success in life.  Has a parent really been successful if he or she has a child that earns a scholarship, but is miserable, has no friends, and doesn’t have a clue how to sustain relationships?