FC Youth News

Rescue Your Kids From “Affluenza” – Teach Them Grit!

October 11, 2017

What I would like to discuss is a condition that I see many young athletes suffer from. These athletes – many of them, but not all of them, coming from well-to-do families – display an apathetic, indifferent attitude toward challenging situations, difficult training, tough coaches, and most any obstacle that lies in their path toward their goals.

At every obstacle, they turn back. They may have great talent and coaching, but they are missing the mental toughness that is required to be a high performer. Usually, this condition exists because the adult role models in their lives shelter them from challenges, swoop in before they can fail, and excuse entitled attitudes by blaming coaches, teachers, and other adults who are actually trying to teach their kids to be a bit tougher.

This lack of grit and mental fortitude is common, and I have written about this before. Each time, I received the same question numerous times: Can I teach kids grit? In one word, YES. In fact, it is our responsibility as parents and coaches to teach this.

Here are three simple steps you can take to in still grit, determination and self control.

1. Allow them to FAIL: In fact, encourage them to fail! Failure is a MANDATORY component of both learning and becoming mentally tough. Children who are not allowed to fail never have any obstacles to overcome, and blame things outside of themselves for their failure. Every time they encounter an obstacle, they wait to be carried over it, they wait for the problem to be solved for them.

2. Praise Them for Effort and Tenacity: if you want an athlete with sports “affluenza,” then by all means praise him for his talent, intelligence, and ability. But if you want a determined, gritty athlete, then praise tenacity.

3. Be a Model Grit for Your Athletes: This is a tough one, but remember that kids hear what we say, but remember what we do. Don’t complain about things out of your control that effected a sports outcome, or blame your boss or co-workers because you did not get the promotion. Instead, be honest about your disappointment with your kids, explain to them how while you are upset, you are going to work even harder, that this is a goal worth attaining, and soon achievement will come. Demonstrate for your kids that what you are doing is not easy, but it is worth the struggle, disappointment and perseverance required of achieving it.

Our society is coining terms like “affluenza” because too many adults do not have the courage to be role models, and to create boundaries for our children.

There is no better place than FightClub to learn GRIT.  There is no better time than now to bring you kids in for a lesson.

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