Monday, 4 January 2021

Published Monday, January 04, 2021 with 2 comments

Skills You Want Your Young Athlete To Learn This New Year – Losing Gracefully


The lessons you can learn from sports are the life lessons that you can learn no where else. Apart from other life-skills like discipline, team work etc., the endurance, grind and will to do it over and over again shapes our children to be ready for life as it comes. Every win gives them the sense of achievement and teaches them the value of hard work, but what about when they lose?  What do you think your children make of losing, especially after having worked really hard? What do you think they should learn from it?

 

Ask an experienced sports coach and they’ll tell you that some of the best lessons are learnt from a lost game, or a lost season. Coach McCoy, who has been teaching football in a youth sports club for 17 years now shares his experience. “What you make of your losing is one of the biggest takeaways in sports”, says McCoy. “But it shouldn’t be left to the young players’ intuition, learning, both from winning and losing should be a systematic process”, McCoy adds. This makes sense as the kids are too small to wrap their heads around life-lessons, especially if left on their own.

 

Coach McCoy’s team has been on InstaTeam for over three years now. He has well established a system of learning. After every game, the team has refreshments together before they leave. “If they win they are all chirpy and happy, and if they have lost the game, their spirits are down, they are gloomy, but the important thing is that whatever it is, they are together in this”, says McCoy while explaining is learning process.

 

After having refreshments together, the players are sent home with their parents. This takes some of the game pressure off them. The next day when kids come back for practice is when game moves and the lessons learnt from those moves are discussed. The discussion is participative and Coach McCoy encourages kids to speak what they think they learnt. McCoy then tells them what they actually need to learn from it. Later when kids are home, Coach McCoy send the list of lessons learned on InstaTeam so that parents can also look at the lessons and in a casual conversation bring it up with their child. This system ensures that no opportunity to learn is wasted and the lessons learned are reiterated for kids, such that those things become a part of their growing up.

 

This system has worked on so many levels. Not only have kids improved their game skills but they have also become great team players. And to top up, parents are in the loop of the learning process. This also is a huge contributing factor in a team’s success.

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