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The One Question We Need to Ask All of Our Athletes

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

"I'm so proud of you that it makes me proud of me. I hope you know that." -John Green.

How often do we find ourselves scrolling through social media and comparing ourselves to others' accomplishments?

We hit a goal we set, like making ten 3's in a row, but then we see our teammate we used to play with made 15 in a row.

We adults do this, but the comparison trap is even worse for young athletes now.

When I was an athlete, social media just beginning, and I couldn't see endless highlights of people around me.

The current generation of athletes faces pressure from social media to start immediately. Hence, patience in the learning process is even more challenging for adolescents.

As coaches and leaders of youth, we often focus on what our teams need to improve on.

But how often do we stop and ask our team, "what are you proud of?"

How We Can Flip the Script

1. Ask - The question, "what are you proud of?" My guess is it will make your athletes uncomfortable, and that's okay. In sports, we always ask our athletes how they can improve; don't get me wrong, that's an essential question. But it's not the only question.

2. Articulate - Many young athletes may struggle to articulate what they are proud of. They can feel it with their improvement in skills & abilities, but as a coach, we have to share with them what WE ARE proud of as well. For example, I'm proud of you for improving your attitude. You used to put your head down after every shot you missed, and now you keep your head up while focusing on the next play.

3. Encourage - Be their #1 fan and supporter. So often, I hear coaches say, "oh, this generation is so different for this reason and that reason." Well yeah, this generation is growing up with the world in their pocket while they are also figuring out their identities at the same time. It's our responsibility to continually encourage them to develop their athletic, academic, and leadership skills.

We are all a work in progress. Let this newsletter be a reminder to celebrate what YOU ARE PROUD OF, and start implementing a culture of what your team is proud of.

A part of the process is recognizing how far you and the team have come.

DM me on any platform or respond to this email & let's have a conversation on leading ourselves first!

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