The “I Want it Now” Attitude
One of the biggest challenges sports kids face is a “I want it now” attitude, says Kirk Mango, a three-time Hall of Fame Athlete, National Champion and author of “Becoming A True Champion.”
If kids are going to make the most of their youth sports experience, they need to understand they can’t get what they want now. Instead, they should embrace the ideas of commitment, sacrifice, priorities and heart, he says.
“Once athletes establish a goal, they need to dedicate themselves to moving toward that goal,” he says. They can do that by embracing these values, he says.
The goals kids establish should have deep meaning for them, Mango says. As they move toward their goals, they will encounter challenges. In order to deal with those challenges, they must make sacrifices. That involves prioritizing, he says.
For example, should they stay up late at a party before a game or should they go to bed early? They need to decide what’s most important.
Setting priorities helps kids prepare themselves for adversity in sports. In addition, dealing with adversity requires heart and passion. Their sports experience should be driven by what they feel on the inside—not on what they look like on the outside, he stresses.
Too often, kids don’t accept this viewpoint. They don’t take responsibility for what happens in sports and don’t take ownership for their actions, he says.
“I’ve listened to a lot of parents. It concerns me that they place the responsibility… on bad refs and bad calls and coaches,” says Mango.
“It’s not that you want to belittle your kids’ efforts. But it’s important to understand that their successes are in their hands. They need to take ownership of what they want and be accountable.”
Want to learn more about how to help sports kids embrace commitment and responsibility?
Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can listen, for free, to our interview with Mango.
Exclusive members also have access to many other expert interviews, plus articles, e-books, videos, Questions-and-Answers and much more!
To listen to the first half of this interview, use the player below:
What do folks say about our resources?
“I’ve read a number of Kids’ Sports Psychology articles and watched several videos mostly about building confidence. As sports parents, we’ve changed our behavior. We’ve stopped criticizing her performance and have focused on what she did well. We do see an improvement in her practices, but most of all they are more enjoyable for her and us.”
~Margot Ambrose, Parent
Help your sports kids make the most of their potential and learn important life lessons from sports!
P.S. Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can listen to our interview with Mango here:
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