The danger of early success
As humans, we not only derive great satisfaction from our own success but through that of our friends or loved ones. At Team Hargett through both the Athlete Perfomance division and Jiu Jitsu we are blessed to be apart of the lives of some very talented individuals who are achieving great things in their respective disciplines (football, baseball, music, golf, etc). We have relationships with many parents who want the best for their children which is what drove them to seek athletic betterment or Martial Arts for them. As coaches we also want the best for our athletes and our students which means doing the right thing to ensure long term success. Sometimes this comes at the cost of a “temporary defeat”. A prime example would be the parent who gives his kid every advantage to specialize in a particular sport early on which leads to premature dominance in the sport. While this can lead to a better future (attention, scholarships, etc) , oftentimes it has shown to lead to burnout, etc, especially when the young athlete is not emotionally mature enough to handle being the best. One of the largest failures here is that the young athlete does not learn:
1. The values they receive from sports; work ethic, not giving up, respect, humility.
2. What sport or athletic endeavor they truly enjoy.
3. That learning to always try your hardest is more important than winning.
4. A healthy relationship with sport, play and exercise.
5. How to accept defeat.
While we understand that their parents most often have the best of intentions, developing a winning mindset in your 8 year old is simply not realistic, rather it will lead to frustration for both the athlete and the parent. For someone who wants their kid to be strong, confident, healthy and happy I cannot recommend Martial Arts more. Mainly because emphasizes principles and morals over techniques and medals. While it is not only extremely empowering for a young boy or girl to learn to defend themselves, it will also develop a strong body and mind. Used correctly, sports and self defense can be one of the most effective vehicles for teaching our youth how to find their own happiness through purpose, through hard work and through friendships.