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5 Things I Learned About Youth Sports from Cobra Kai
Well I did it, I finished all episodes of Cobra Kai this week. It was stressful, annoying and I would literally talk back to the TV when someone did something wrong. My frustration was directed towards the adults – Danny and Johnny. Since they both turned athlete to coach, it got me thinking about all of the parallels to youth sports.
After coaching youth sports for 15+ years, you see a lot. You see a lot from parents, players, organizations, and other coaches. All of those thoughts came out while watching Cobra Kai.
Here are some of things I learned that related to my years of playing sports and coaching.
Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy
Written on the wall at the Cobra Kai Dojo are these 3 statements. It is a testament to the original owner, John Creese and his hard line approach to everything. While I love these statements, I despised how Creese used them to teach kids. His coaching philosophy turned them into bullies.
His students displayed poor sportsmanship over and over again. Winning in a dirty way or at any cost, will cost you in the long run. No one wants to be associated with a bad sport or a bully.
We Are More Alike Than Different
If you are playing on your soccer team, you already have a lot in common. You love the same sport, you come to the same practice, and you wear the same uniform.
Remember, we all have our differences but know that you are more like your teammates than not. They may not like the same music or the same TV shows, but you both love your sport.
Everyone Has Something Going On
Every teammate has things going on both on and off the field. You could never know what others are going through but you can control how you are going to react to those things. If you or your teammate are having a bad day, know that tomorrow is another start.
Think about just the last week, were you feeling frustrated or down? It is ok to feel sad, mad or something else. Try to talk to someone that can help or channel that into a hard worked practice or game. Get your mindset in a better place at that moment in time. Remember that we all have bad days, support each other and you will get through it.
Every Story Has Three Points of View
Yours, mine and the middle. The middle is where the truth lies. Don’t make assumptions and know that there are more than 1 side of every situation.
Accept what happened and move on. Don’t assume others are at fault or did something wrong or bad. This means that when you are practicing or playing in a game, don’t assume if someone doesn’t get you the ball that they are doing something wrong. Maybe they saw a different passing lane. Always remember that others see things through a different lens.
Change The Narrative
If you don’t like what is happening to you, then change it. This doesn’t mean that you change and become a bully or terrible teammate (like in Cobra Kai with Hawk).
Let’s say you aren’t starting on your team. Ask yourself, what are you going to do about it. You have the ability to make changes that will help you and your teammates. Know that you can change your narrative throughout your life.