I’m a sports dad and coach with a wife who is on the cutting edge of K-12 Education. And I frequently wonder, why we are not applying the best practices of K-12 Education to Youth Sports. Especially in a generation when youth sports has become such a commercialized institution, it lacks humanity, communication and collaboration. Why not apply practices from the education world that just make sense for youth sports?
- Setting Goals: Every year we have back to school night to hear the teacher’s plans for the year. Yet it’s rare that a coach takes 15 minutes at the first practice to set some goals and direction for the team (read more about the value of setting goals below).
- Conducting Fair Assessments: In school kids know they are going to have periodic quizzes and tests to assess their progress towards their goals. Both parents and teachers can adjust a child’s learning based on the results of those assessments. Why are we not using fair/objective assessment tools to see how our young athletes are progressing?
- Providing Feedback: Certainly, we have at least 2 meetings with the teacher each year to get feedback on our child’s development. Most proactive parents will check in with the teacher periodically to keep their child on track (read below about the value of Feedback). Why don’t we have any sort of healthy feedback loop in youth sports. A little feedback from a coach goes a long way towards player improvement. It will also help get parents to support the coaches efforts between practices and games.
In the age of industrialized youth sports, where scholarships and tryouts are on parents’ minds all the time, wouldn’t it help our kids to set objective goals at the beginning of the season? Shouldn't we fairly assess player development and create a productive and collaborative feedback loop between coaches, parents and the kids? It sure would take a lot of the guess work out of an already chaotic youth sports experience.
Find Out More
Read more below about how setting goals and providing feedback has been shown to improve success of K-12 teachers:
By: Ian Goldberg
Ian Goldberg is the Founder and CEO of iSport360, a new SportsTech venture bringing objective goals and fair assessments to the parents, coaches and players in the chaotic world of youth sports.