“What’s Important to Young Athletes”

In today’s world, sports are a vital part in developing the character, the competitive spirit and the minds of young athletes.  Many parents and coaches want to prepare the young athlete for challenges through training, specializing in their specific sport and yes, an opportunity to receive the covenant prize of an athletic scholarship and winning.  Many forget to ask the young athlete what’s important to them.  So today, let’s take a closer look at what is important to the young athlete.

While winning is important, the young athlete values 3 qualities much higher: fun, teamwork and participation.  Fun is the first important priority for the athlete.  Fun shows an inherit enjoyment win or lose, the athlete sees the sport as a game.  Fun allows the athlete to learn to love and appreciate the game and thus, will always play their best.  Lastly, fun promotes self-awareness,to be free, to smile and to be yourself.

The second point that is important to the young athlete is teamwork. This is truly defined in the great meaning of T.E.A.M.  “T” is for “Together, “E” is for Everyone, “A” is for Achieves  and “M” is for More”.  When the athlete combines all the letters and their meanings we get a powerful statement: Together everyone achieves more. The word team builds character, sportsmanship and respect of others. The most valuable aspect of team, is the sense of belonging to something meaningful, yes that means PURPOSE.


Participation is the third important value for the athlete.  The essence of participation is to be with friends, playing a game they love and allowing freedom of expression.  Participation provides the start of something special, but if the athlete never participates they will never know what lies in their future.  As a result ,the young athlete must always keep fun, teamwork and participation at the forefront of their minds.

Let’s remember that sports are a great teacher. Let’s remember what’s important to young athletes: fun, teamwork and simply participating in sport that they love.  Remember, it’s a game, so let’s embrace the experience with our young athletes.


Coach Reggie Ward


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