Kids: Speak For Yourself — Self-Sufficient Kids in youth sports. This morning driving into the office, I heard a great interview on the radio. Mike & Mike were interviewing Ernie Johnson the TNT Icon Sportscaster. He spoke about a story that happened to him when he was 8 years old playing Little League. In the story, a ball goes over the fence. All the sudden, 2 outfielders climb the fence in search of this lost ball. After a couple minutes go by, the boys do not return. The coaches decide to go looking for the two boys searching for their missing ball. When the coaches got over the fence they saw the 8-Year-old boys sitting in the woods eating blackberries.
Sit Back And Enjoy The Blackberries – Speak for Yourself
Ernie spoke about how throughout his whole life he reflects back to that day, to realize how important it is to sometimes just enjoy the taste of blackberries. Playing Little League and youth sports is a great opportunity for all participants and their parents to enjoy the blackberries!
I like to reflect back on my experiences as a parent when helping other parents navigate the process of assisting their kids in life. Similar to Ernie Johnson, I always go back to one story in particular. I came home one day after work and noticed my 10th-grade son was not himself.
I asked him, “What’s bothering you son?”
He replied, “I’m frustrated with how the coach is handling my playing time.”
My response, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”
He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and said, “What do you mean, what am I going do about it?”
“Well, speaking to your coach about your feelings would certainly let your coach know where your head is at and even if he doesn’t agree with you, he would certainly respect you for sitting down with him and communicating your thoughts. These are your feelings, your thoughts, therefore, it is your job to communicate with your coach.”
The next night I came home and asked my son, “Did you speak with your Coach?”
“Do you feel better?”
His answer, “Yes. Thanks, Dad.”
Self-Sufficient Kids Are Self-Empowered Kids
I have told numerous parents over the years’ this story, some accept it with open arms and some ignore my words. Allowing your children to be self-sufficient will empower them. Teach your children to develop their own voice, speak up for themselves, and communicate their feelings in a sincere way. Teach your children to stand up for their beliefs and have that awkward conversation even if it results in an unfavorable response. Your children will be stronger for it. If you ask my son, he’d say the same.
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Mike Winkoff is the CEO of FLG Lacrosse, President of Lax4all Organization and a friend of iSport360.