ASK COACH HARRY: MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER HATES SPORT. ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO MAKE HER MORE ACTIVE WITHOUT FORCING IT?

When I first created the Youth Athletic Development Academy, I thought it would only attract those kids that love sport. It’s a natural progression, right?

However, over the last few years of running our programs at schools, I’ve learnt that there is a massive need for programs for kids who don’t love participating in and playing sport. Funnily enough, we’ve found that those in this situation actually love our programs.

I think this is due to the fact that we really focus on making it fun, while also ensuring that kids leave the session feeling competent and skilful. We make sure our #yadathletes are motivated by intrinsic factors, like personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement, as opposed to extrinsic rewards and praise. We focus on the process of improving day to day, month to month, year to year, and not on the singular outcome.

Highlighting these improvements throughout training and rewarding their effort, tenacity and resilience is key.

The truth is: not every kid is going to love sport. This can come from a variety of factors, such as not liking competition or not feeling competent. We usually find that it’s only serious athletes who actively love sport and physical education. This is something we endeavour to change. We need all children and young people to enjoy sport. Actually, we want them to look forward to it!

Here at the Youth Athletic Development Academy, we always prioritise creating an environment where children of any background and any ability can thrive and have fun with movement.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Weatherstone is the founder of the Youth Athletic Development Academy and the head Strength and Conditioning Coach at St. Andrew’s Anglican College. He is an ASCA accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach and has a Bachelors Degree in Sport and Exercise Science and Sport Management. Harry has been a sports coach for the last nine years, surrounding himself in high performance sport, athletic development and performance throughout New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and now Queensland. He has dedicated the last six years of his life to creating this movement in youth athletic development; investing countless hours into his own professional development to create the best programs possible for his students, athletes and clients.

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