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Top 10 Tips For Sports Parents

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PCA National Advisory Board Member Carol Dweck is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She graduated from Barnard College in 1967 and earned a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1972. She taught at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of Illinois before joining the Stanford faculty in 2004.

Here are her top 10 tips...

Winning is great - but joyful, meaningful winning comes from a good team process.

First and foremost, teach children the purpose of youth sports:

  1. Having fun. Win-at-all-cost parents and coaches spoil the fun for kids and cause many to drop out of sports entirely. Kids these days have lots of pressure on them to achieve. Sports should be something they look forward to and then feel good about.

  2. Growing their skills. The serious part of sports is inspiring kids to grow their skills though mentoring and practice. It’s a good lesson for life—teaching them to work on weaknesses (and existing strengths) and pointing out how they’re progressing. This isn’t about just praising effort. It’s about guiding the development of high-level skills.

  3. Becoming a great team member. On a win-at-all-cost team, it’s often every team member for themselves. Each one proving that they’re worthy. Yet, great teams have great “chemistry”-- team members support, root for, and help each other whenever possible. Parents and coaches should encourage and reward this.

What you expect in a game:

  1. Full effort and commitment. As legendary coach John Wooden said, that’s a great game. Winning is secondary--but often follows from it.

To read and download all ten tips, click to download the PDF below!

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