The coaching of kids is due for a revolution. Cultural and economic forces are driving youth sports toward increasingly competitive training and commitment at earlier ages. The result is stressed-out kids, parents, and coaches, high levels of burnout, lowered levels of long-term athletic participation, and missed development opportunities.
The solution lies is in changing the way we teach athletics. Youth coaching today is still rooted in traditional theories for shaping behavior, which results in two limited approaches: coach kids to perform their best, or coach kids to encourage continued participation, i.e., to have fun. There is, however, a new approach to shaping behavior that offers a new paradigm: peak performance while having fun.