The Road Less Traveled
The ultimate reason for why all young athletes should engage in our system as early as possible (age 8 preferably) is that they will embrace the “good life” of a competitive athlete the time the social pressures reach a boiling point.
Youth athletes are some of the toughest, most disciplined and most committed when it comes to their training.
Their parents still believe they can achieve anything they want, will be going to college on a scholarship and may even play professionally. That is a beautiful thing (so long as it doesn’t evolve into an obsession).
There is a blank canvas to paint.
They are all destined for greatness, they fully believe they will achieve it, and will do the hard stuff required to get there.
If we could bottle this up and sell it back to them when they are in high school and these virtues have seemingly disappeared, we’d really be onto something big.
After these glorious younger years of their epic sports journey, full of photo buttons, All-Star teams and tournament medals, puberty hits, they get a phone and all of a sudden they become interested in the opposite sex and their social status. Totally natural and to be embraced, no doubt. However, playing catch in the backyard with Dad can easily be replaced with “hanging out” with their homies, scrolling through social media, eating junk food and playing Fortnite.
Hardly the vision of athletic greatness they once pursued with a vengeance.
When this starts to happen, it’s “game on” for parents and coaches.
The war for desire heats up, and their passion for pursuing athletic greatness, will be assaulted by their social life, identity formation and the girl next door. Priorities shift and their willingness to “embrace of the suck” in training starts to wane, their body enters the “clunkiness” of hyper growth mode, and their climb up the social ladder is paramount.
But, there is hope…IF we get them going down the narrow path early on. This is where the good life is to be found, and what every parent we meet truly desires for their children.
We help build a strong, independent identity around rigorous training, intentionally shaping their mindset toward noble endeavors and the willingness to pursue discipline, a foundation of health and wellness, taking responsibility for all the small things they can control each day, and a genuine love for the process of becoming great, rather than a fixation on outcomes.
These are our top priorities as we partner with parents and coaches in developing and empowering competitive student-athletes. We hard wire them to be confident leaders and and extract the most joy possible along the way. For this is the good life, indeed.
Oh yeah, and they will likely dominate in their sport.