"Is My Child Good?"
As parents, is this the question that keeps us up late at night, have the additional glass of wine or play on our thoughts of helicopter-ing or tiger-ing?
At Shaws Little League, we have outcomes for all children based on their age that all of our coaches must help the children to attain. Of course they work hard to help your child to exceed those outcomes too!
If we think of famous athletes like Usain Bolt, Cristiano Ronaldo, Virat Kohli, Roger Federer, Mia Hamm and Lydia Ko, we would probably describe them as being good. It is fair to say that all of us and our children have a fair way to go in order to be as good as these athletes.
As you will all know, being “good” is all relative.
But really, how do we assess whether a child is “good”? - At the start of each class at Shaws Little League, our coaches get the children to promise to do three things - “Listen, play hard and play nicely” - to us, if the children can do these three things, they will be good. Not just at sport, but at whatever they choose to do.
Why do we focus on these three things?
Listening to clear and simple instructions help the children to channel their eagerness, excitement and anticipation into what is important and how to get better. They are also more focused on the task at hand and more aware of potential safety risks.
We have found that children respond more positively to the word “play” than “try” - however to us, they both mean the same thing. Play hard – that vein popping, sweating, cheeks reddening, lung bursting, muscle aching joy of playing sport. Playing hard brings in notions of grit, determination, perseverance, continuous improvement and learning from failure and setbacks.
We emphasise play nicely as this helps the children with communicating, being gracious winners, dealing with losing, packing up, helping other children and just being aware and thinking of others too.
So if the children do these three things, would they be as good as those famous athletes? Probably not in the short term. If those famous athletes do not continue to do these three things, then we are pretty sure that someone else will take their place as being more “good”.
The phrase provides our children with expectations of their behaviour and how we manage the children throughout their various ups and downs that they may have during their time at Shaws Little League. We know that if the kids can do these three things, there is no doubt that they will continually exceed expectations – both ours and yours.
See you at Shaws Little League soon.