Ask nearly anyone who played youth sports where they learned their most valuable life lessons – about character, leadership, overcoming adversity, accountability to themselves and others – and they’ll likely tell you they learned those lessons in a field or on a court.
But becoming a good leader and team player doesn’t automatically come with the territory. Parents and coaches have more influence on young athletes than they often know. Responsible Sports, a program created by Liberty Mutual, in cooperation with the Positive Coaching Alliance, provides a valuable resource for parents, coaches, and kids. Through quizzes and interviews with prominent coaches and famous athletes, as well as the opportunity to win $2,500 school grants, Responsible Sports reinforces the accountability parents and coaches have to young athletes, not to mention that kids have to good sportsmanship and themselves.
Parents of youth athletes, of course, have a responsibility to keep children and teens safe on the field. And helping them apply the lessons learned on the field to the rest of life’s challenges can be a lifetime game-changer. In fact, a 2001 research study conducted at UNC Greensboro’s Applied Sport Psychology Laboratory found that nearly all elite athletes who reached the Olympics had parents and coaches who “provided considerable encouragement and support and reciprocal trust and respect.”
Liberty Mutual’s partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance – a national non-profit organization committed to teaching life lessons through sports – is particularly important. Working intensely with student athletes, coaches have the opportunity to be among the biggest positive (or negative) influences in young lives.
Find out more about Responsible Sports at www.responsiblesports.com.