Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders Through Team Building Experiences

Joe DeRing, founder and president of Empower Adventures, explains the importance of leadership qualities in children.

Instead of treating children as professional athletes who are paid to win, parents and coaches should prioritize building confidence, team building, communication skills and social development.

In the United States, organized sports are a significant part of the physical, psychological and cognitive development of youth. Research indicates that 75% of U.S. families have at least one child who participates in organized sports.1 An estimated 45 million American children and adolescents are involved in some form of youth sports.1 According to the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, when considering goals and motivation for involvement, most children consider fairness, participation and the development of skills as paramount, with winning taking a back seat.1 However, most adults believe their children are most motivated by winning.1 Joe DeRing, founder and president of Empower Adventures, considers this disconnect a serious problem within organized youth sports.

“Unfortunately, many Americans are familiar with stories about parents pushing their child athletes too hard, and even lashing out against coaches or other parents at games,” said DeRing, an expert in team building and leadership training. “Instead of treating children as professional athletes who are paid to win, parents and coaches should prioritize building confidence, team building, communication skills and social development.” Rather than creating a negative atmosphere in which children develop stress and anxiety, parents and coaches should emphasize fun while encouraging physical fitness and emotional well-being.1

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