Unconventional Sports Mom Tips: How to develop resiliency, persistence, work ethic

Over the weekend, I sat watching my 3yo son throw a small Goldfish cracker carton up in the air.

Over and over and over again.

He was trying to catch it.

Every once in a while he succeeded. Maybe 10-15% of the time.

Then he grabbed a bucket. And threw the carton up while trying to catch it with the bucket.

Over and over and over again.

No matter how many times he failed, he just kept going.

And he was having an absolute blast!

Each time he successfully caught the Goldfish carton, he celebrated with such enthusiasm that you’d even never guess that he “failed” in 85-90% of his attempts.

What people don’t seem to realize is, this is how kids develop resiliency, persistence, work ethic, a never give up attitude, and more.

So often, adults think they need to “teach” those traits.

For any child with the physical ability to play a sport, that persistence and work ethic and resiliency is already there. That’s how they learned to crawl, to stand, to walk, to get dressed, to feed themselves, and to catch toys they throw up in the air, etc.

All we need to do is give them opportunities to practice and develop those characterisics further!

Those opportunities come through providing ways for them to engage in activities they love. Not by “making” them “push through” a bunch of stuff they don’t.

When a child does something that matters TO THEM, you’ll see them go the extra mile when most people would stop. You’ll see them do things they don’t particularly like in order to achieve something they want. Maybe not at age 3, but certainly as they get older and as you continue providing¬†FUN opportunities through which to practice these essential life skills.

“Pushing” them through things they don’t necessarily care for, for the purpose of teaching “good work ethic” may actually be counterproductive and move you away from the result you desire.

I know it may sound crazy. Maybe even backwards. Because it goes against what “most people” believe. But it’s also why “most people” are trying to figure out how to “get” their kids to work hard while some of us have kids who do because THEY WANT to.


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