Victory is won on and off the field when youth athletes strive to achieve their personal best. Encouraging kids to set individual goals and focus on maximum personal effort benefits both the player and the team in a variety of ways. Players who come to realize that personal development can feel even better than a win are mastery-focused athletes who build the confidence and initiative needed to succeed in sports and in life.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports offers the following helpful tips on how to encourage and inspire youth players to achieve their personal best:
- Create a positive environment. Because meeting expectations plays a critical role in players developing self-confidence, a positive atmosphere focused on self-improvement lets athletes concentrate less on the importance of winning and more on the value of effort.
- Set manageable goals. Help youth players identify and focus on areas that need improvement. Work with them to establish personal goals that will not only challenge their individual limits, but also inspire them to achieve new personal bests.
- Offer support. Provide youth athletes with the resources, support and encouragement they need to perform at their maximum ability. When kids know they have the backing of parents, coaches and teammates, they’ll gain the confidence they need to strive for new levels of achievement.
- Learn from challenges. Mistakes provide an opportunity for future success. So when players face setbacks and challenges, work with them to identify the lessons to be learned from the situation, as well as ways to quickly move forward.
- Celebrate personal victories. While nothing quite compares to the rush of pride that comes from meeting or exceeding a personal goal, recognition of a job well done encourages youth players to strive for continued success.
The off-field lessons from on-field successes, setbacks and strivings deliver the true value of youth sports. The more coaches and parents can do to help interpret the on-field experience for youth athletes, the more youth will benefit in later life.
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility and integrity shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.
In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports program.
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