Dependent on how much you remember from your high school or college physics classes, you might have retained how important pressure can be in the physical world. Pressure is the reason archways remain above your head and not falling on top of it, pressure aids in cutting up vegetables and fruits for dinner, pressure even explains why you can spray fancy product into your hair from an aerosol can. In physics, pressure is necessary—it quite literally holds the world together, but what about pressure outside of physical applications and into, let’s say, the psyche of a child? Does it still hold the same weight (pun very much intended)? The answer is: yes. However, this weight is scaled in a completely different way for it can be extremely detrimental to a child’s happiness.
In a TEDTalk given by John O’Sullivan, the founder of Changing the Game Project, he discusses the importance of taking pressure off of your kids, especially in sports. O’Sullivan explains what unnecessary pressure in sports can ultimately lead to: kids hating the game, quitting, damaged relationships between a child and their parents, and physical or emotional scars. These are extremely upsetting potential results of stress; however, the good news is, they are completely avoidable!
O’Sullivan made note of the top 4 reasons kids participate in sports. The list was as follows: because it’s fun, they learn new things, they get to play with their friends, and because it’s exciting. What surprisingly did not make this list? Winning. If parents are able to enjoy watching their child merely playing in the game as opposed to winning or being the best, everyone will be a lot happier and healthier. By giving the game back to the kids, you are encouraging your child to become better in sports, not bitter. And that makes a world of difference.
Kids that are happy playing sports will develop stronger self-confidence and they will learn to love the game, not the results. Taking unwanted and unneeded stress off of children can even lead to higher youth participation in athletics and that’s a win we can truly be proud of.
-Tony Korson, CEO 04/30/15