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Instead Of "Tough Love", Focus On Athlete Strengths

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Dr. Richard Lerner, a PCA National Advisory Board Member, is the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. Lerner has more than 650 scholarly publications and is known for his research about the relations between adolescents and their peers, families, schools, and communities. His work often focuses on positive youth development and youth contributions to society.

Lerner’s research demonstrates that to reinforce success in both sports and life, it is important to focus on the strengths of young people. Every person has a strength, and a coach can help an athlete reach their potential by finding ways to applaud those strengths.

Approaches like "tough love" and strictness, may actually constrain an athletes opportunity to succeed. When a coach finds positive ways to motivate their athletes, it is proven to be more effective in allowing young athletes to succeed both on and off the field.