Pressure in Youth Sports

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If you ever played in competitive sports as a child, then what I am about to tell you about will sound very familiar. Have you ever been pressured by your parents, friends or coaches to do extremely well in any sport or activity you did? Growing up in the late 90’s and into the future, the way parents and coaches act towards their children and players has changed a lot. I have been playing basketball since I was five years old. Luckily for me my parents have never pressured me or pushed me too far. As I was growing up my parents always encouraged me to do my best all the time. Being only five foot four and a female I wasn’t getting very far in the basketball world. My parents never told me I could do things that I really couldn’t do. They never once told me I would ever play in the WNBA or play at a Division 1 college. I had dreams of playing in the big leagues in college and in the pros, I told my parents about it one day but they sat me down and told me the truth. They told me that I did have a lot of talent, enough talent to play in college but definitely not D1. They also told me that I wasn’t tall enough and couldn’t go to the pros on just talent. I have seen too many parents who only put their kids in sports to get them out of the house or to relive their youth through their kids. I have also witnessed parents who are so concerned about not hurting their child’s feelings that they continually tell them how good they are doing when their child’s effort level doesn’t compare to the talk. There is a fine line between false praise and warranted praise. These situations are all about the parents and do not attend to their child’s best interests. Applying too much parental pressure is never good. There is a fine line between some normal pressure and “pushing” a child with excessive pressure. Parents usually go into the pushing stage when kids get very upset over their parent's advice, questions or actions to the point where they question if playing is worth it...
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