Written on February 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm
by Eric Cressey (Nationally recognized performance expert and trainer to numerous MLB players)
It’s a challenging time to be a parent. The fact that I’m not even a parent and I know that speaks volumes.
You see, at the end of my own personal youth athletics career, I went directly to a career in coaching young athletes – and I’ve been there for over a decade now. To give you a little idea of how times have changed since I was a high school athlete:
a. I’d never heard of AAU soccer (or elite travel teams) when I was playing as a teenager (or 8-year-old, for that matter). I think about three kids in my state were selected to the Olympic Development Program when I was a senior because they were pretty good, but the rest of us didn’t get a trophy for trying – and I don’t recall anyone complaining about this lack of hardware on the mantle.
b. I didn’t send an email or use Instant Messenger until I was a freshman in college (1999). Somehow, I miraculously still managed to have normal social interactions with other human beings. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 23 and in graduate school. And, I’m pretty sure that the gerbil that ran around inside it to keep the power going wasn’t up for working overtime so that I could Snapchat (and the thing couldn’t take pictures, anyway).
c. The guy (Kevin Colleran) who lived next door to me my freshman year in college turned out to be one of Facebook’s first ten employees. So, you could say I had a Facebook friend before Facebook even existed.
By reading this long, meandering introduction, I hope you’ll realize (not that you didn’t already) that kids “these days” are different. They respond to a different style of coaching, and that surely means that parenting styles must be different, too.