Yesterday, I saw a twitter post where retired NBA player, Ray Allen, captured a video of his kids competing on the basketball court.
He points to one of his children who is sitting behind the basket, obviously mad and sulking that he's not in the competition anymore.
Pointing at his child, Allen says, " You see that right there? That's the disappointment we have to learn to live with."
This is step two in building young athletes.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about step one. You can see it in this link .
Where step one is about finding a love and passion for your sport, step two is all about accepting a challenge and learning how to get your butt kicked.
There may be no greater lesson in life than this. And the earlier you can teach is as a parent, and learn it as a child, the better.
It teaches them to be competitors. It teaches them to look for challenges, rather than shy away from them. And it teaches them to be okay with the outcome, as long as they learn something from it.
Today, everyone is rewarded for something. Parents are protecting their children from losing and failure at all costs.
These children end up becoming adults who don't know how to handle failure and ultimately crumble in their responsibilities as an adult and contributor to society.
From an athlete standpoint, failure is what drives the greatest ever to do it. Their success is built in the fires of their failures and difficulties. It is what ignites their competitive spirit.
Allen finished off his video saying, "Losing is so important to a kid...I love to see them lose because it makes them want to fight harder, it makes them want to try; it makes them want to practice."
Want to build a great athlete? Teach them how to get their butt kicked. Expose them to situations where they will undoubtedly fail. See how they respond. Teach them how to respond. Help them drive the seeds of failure into competitive fire, and continue to seek even greater challenges for themselves.