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The #1 Goal For Sports Parents Should Always Be To Help Kids Love The Game

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John O'Sullivan (@coachjohnnyo) started the Changing the Game Project in 2012 after two decades as a soccer player and coach on the youth, high school, college and professional level. He is the author of the #1 bestselling books Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids and Is it Wise to Specialize? John is also a regular contributor for, and his writing has been featured in many publications including The Huffington Post and Soccer America.

O'Sullivan stresses that if a young athlete loves the game, then he or she will play longer and harder, which will, in turn, lead to more success. The way parents can inspire this love is by giving their kids ownership over the experience, focusing on enjoyment, and making sure those things build their intrinsic motivation to play. The only way children can truly improve is if they are the ones striving to get better.