A question we are often asked by parents is “Is my child good at sport?”
If you ask me, yes your children are good. What is my yardstick? I know that at their current age, the children are all more skilled and co-ordinated than I was and I still managed to play in the World Cup for New Zealand. I also know that the children are probably working a lot harder during our classes than I did at their age.
There are many ways in which “good” can be measured – how hard they kick/hit/throw the ball, how fast they can run, how strong they are etc. This type of approach is used by many people and sports organisations.
However, we believe that this approach is not that important for children because of our approach being based on each individual child. Instead, we first observe each child’s ability and work on continuously improving their skills, instead of measuring a specific skill at a point in time. We use specific outcomes only to ensure that our coaches are all working to help your child to continuously improve and provide your child with a real sports experience.
We know that most of you know of Roger Federer. However many of you will not know of a tennis player called Marco Chiudinelli. Marco used to beat Roger Federer when they were young. It changed a little bit when they became adults. We are also sure that there would have been children a couple of years older, who would have also been better than Federer.
There are many instances of athletes who weren’t that great as young children, but still went on to become superstars.
So how do we define “good” at Shaws Little League?
At the start of each class, our coaches tell the children four things – listen, try hard, play nicely and have fun.
Listen – we give clear and simple instructions, we observe the children for eye contact, comprehension, asking questions and their responsiveness
Try hard – to follow instructions, give 100%, makes decisions, comes up with alternatives, shows perseverance, resilience and character
Play nicely – be gracious and humble, nice to the other children in the class and the coaches, keeps hands to themselves, communicate appropriately
Have fun – enjoys the moment, happy being with their friends and part of the group
If the children can do these four things for a period of time, we know that they are going to be good at sport, or whatever they choose to do in the future.
See you all at Shaws Little League soon.