The Dirtiest Word in Sports
As a coach, this word drives me batty because of multiple reasons:
- We’ve have been working on specific skills and development markers and it undoes all we have trained during practice. They stop attempting what we taught and become singularly focused on one thing. Shooting.
- Children can only process a few items each second. Sports, for the most part, are dynamic, chaotic, fast-paced. They are already bombarded by hundreds of information inputs and screaming shoot piles it on high. You overload the processors.
- Screaming it at moments of high-pressure only adds to the pressure. Stress causes a reaction that bathes the brain and body in stress hormones. This causes a heightened alert state that pushes anxiety beyond what a child can control. They fall over the bell curve of anxiety/performance correlation. Translation – you freak them out and they can’t physically handle it. SHANK.
- We want them to think for themselves. If they cannot make decisions on their own in sport, the whole point of “youth” sports is lost. It becomes “adult” video games…where we joystick everything they do. That is not fun. That is not learning. That is not why they played. They get bossed around all day long. Let them have sports.
- It may not have been the right choice. They are intelligent, intuitive, and well-trained to decide what is best. They love you, so they will listen regardless of logic. Even when it is the wrong decision. Let them use logic and not gut reaction to you.
Stop yelling Dirty words and let them have their moment.