INNATE TALENTS: REALITY OR MYTH?
“[O]ver the years we’ve run into parents who really push their kids. They love their kids but they want to ensure that their kids are going to be successful. And they somehow get bought into, “sports is a ticket.” There’re studies that have shown that it’s very hard to try to predict athletic talent. There’s just a study done in Europe like with 4- or 5,000 tennis players and judo players at the junior level. And there wasn’t a very good correlation between being a junior-ranked player and being a senior-ranked player.”
– Only a Game on NPR
Dr. Dan Gould, the Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, spoke with Bill Littlefield about the implications of recruiting kids.
“I learned that early — just to let them play. And if I see some things I will say ‘Listen… this is important, this is what you gotta pay attention to.’ ”
— Bobby Carpenter, Former Boston Bruin
Interviewed on “Olympic Zone” 2/19/2014 on TV discussing his hockey playing kids — including his daughter — now Olympian Alex Carpenter
So perfect! This also works great with downhill skiing with kids. No need for structured, formal lessons per se — they sometimes kill the fun. Instead, try lots of actual skiing with some select comments here or there — mostly learning by doing and watching good skiers.
I’m not saying lessons or advice isn’t useful… they certainly are. But in limited doses and most importantly never at the expense of FUN. I’m also not against organized sports where one is following rules carefully … it’s often been my personal experience that playing team sports properly and by the rules is much more fun than just horsing around. But there is also plenty of time for that. So let them play / skate / ski!