Archive for March 23rd, 2012

The Secrets To Becoming A Great Athlete

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Do you want me to let you in on the secrets to making your kid into a great athlete?  What are the handful of steps to take so that little Johnny or Susie can make it to  “the next level”?  Well, I’m going give you two of them in this post.

The first secret is to let your child fully develop their overall athletic skills.  How can you do that?  Do they need to speed 10,000 hours focusing on one sport and the exact skill set needed to succeed in that sport?  No.  Do they need to start playing a sport at a ridiculously young age.  No.  What should they do?  Play multiple sports.  “But won’t that slow up their development in the sport of _______?  Nope.  Not one bit.  You see, each sport develops different skills.  When a kid is able to play a variety of sports, they are able to develop their overall athleticism. They develop some skills in sport #1, some in # 2, and so on.  In the end, this makes the kid a better overall athlete.  That then enables them to be more successful in their chosen sport as they become older.  You don’t believe me?  Then read this article about Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox.  He played five sports in high school.  Yes, you read that right – 5 sports.  It doesn’t look like it held him back either.

Ok, now for secret number two.  As the saying goes, “pick your parents well”.   Genetics does play a role in the development of athletes.  It gives them their foundation.  Now, as we all know, some kids have great genetic gifts and they never become great athletes. Other kids are able to work hard (and smart) and overcome being less genetically gifted.  Obviously having good genetics isn’t a guaranteed pass to sports superstardom.  At the same time, most times it never hurts to have good genes on your side.

Regardless of what your kids genetic makeup may be, every kid should be allowed to follow secret # 1.  Let them play several sports when they are young.  As they get into high school, they will gravitate towards one specific sport.  (If you’re wondering exactly when they should pick a single sport, I’ll address that in another post).  At that point, the athleticism that they developed should take over and give them a greater chance at excelling.


For more info on proper training techniques, please visit Sports Upgrade