Sunday, October 2, 2011

Do We Rob Athletes Of Their Creativity?

I'm a big Will Smith fan. From "Summer time" to Ali, I even have the Fresh Prince theme song as my ringtone and don't plan on changing it, ever.  One of his underrated roles was I, Robot.  It was an futuristic concept where humans created domestic robots that functioned off of 3 laws.  The robots end up evolving from these 3 laws and try to revolt and take over.  Spoiler alert, Will Smith saves the day in the end.

How does this connect to youth sports and performance training?  I was watching a soccer game with my good friend and great physical therapist, Cari McClemons, and we always get into talking about youth sports and coaching.  She was telling me about a team her son, who's 6, played for where the coach would constantly yell to the kids about where on the field they should be.  It got to the point where many of the kids would just look over to him all game long waiting to get yelled at for being out of position.  Zero creativity, zero spontaneity, zero fun.

Unlike Hollywood movies, I don't think these kids will pull the "I, Robot" and turn the coaches rules against him for total power domination.  Unfortunately, these kids end up either quitting because playing is no longer fun, or become robots waiting for there next command.

Talk about creativity, Parkour is the epitome of it.
It made me question what I do as a coach.  Am I creating robots in my own setting?  Do I ask enough questions and use the rights drills to enhance creative skills?  This is why I have my athletes go through a FedEx Day once a trimester.  It shows my areas of weakness as a coach, and also gives them a day to be creative and program their own workout.  

I want my programs to enhance the ability to be a critical and creative thinker.  I do this by asking a lot of questions, encourage athletes to ask a lot of questions, and set up drills that enhance creativity within movement, e.i. mirror games, human foosball, etc.  I can only coach them for 4 years.  I want them to take this knowledge of movement for the rest of their life. 

Creativity within the movements and rules of the sport are what makes it fun.  We all go after the same result but in so many different ways.  It's what make us human, but we can't rob our youth athletes by making them follow a piece of paper everyday.  Be creative in ways to teach creativity. 

One last video to show you a creative way to fish.  I think I need to try this....

1 comment:

  1. With an entire generation being robbed of creative spark in every aspect of their lives, it's good to know there's coaches out there who recognize the importance of teaching kids to innovate and explore in sports, allowing them to stretch their potential to the limit and still enjoy it. Wish there were more like you.