Our rule #1 for practice design at Horsetooth Grappling? Know our athletes!
This is particularly important if you want to keep kids active and involved in such a difficult combat sport as wrestling.
Consider how video games, e-sports, and other forms of technology have exploded in popularity among young people because they provide so much of what kids look for in an experience: action, freedom, competition, inclusion, connection, and personalization.
And yet, the world of youth sports continues to be created by, and largely for, adults, driving professionalization, overspecialization, and hyper-competitiveness.
Attrition is the logical conclusion in such an adult-centric system. Note that 70% of kids quit organized sports by the age of 13! The primary reason for quitting, per research conducted by the Aspen Institute—kids said they just weren’t having fun…
And what do kids cite as the primary reasons sports are fun? Again, from polling conducted by the Aspen Institute:
1- Trying your best
2- When coach treats players with respect
3- Getting playing time
4- Playing well together as a team
5- Getting along with your teammates
6- Exercising and being active
Where did winning rank for kids on this ‘fun spectrum’? All the way down at #48!!!!
If you coach martial arts, remember that a high-quality youth program centers the voice of kids at every step of the way, empowering them to lead and instilling feelings of ownership that last long after they have grown.
And this…KIDS CAN STILL LEARN INVALUABLE LIFE LESSONS WHILE THEY”RE HAVING FUN AT PRACTICE!!!
Hope to see you on the mat soon. 🙂
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