When I work with young athletes and their parents one of the most important things I try to impress upon them is the importance of recognizing (and using) athletic transferable skills beyond sports (Sport Success 360). Unfortunately, most young athletes involved in youth or interscholastic sports tend to either overlook or minimize the significance of athletic transferable skills, something that is actually quite tragic when you take into consideration just how invaluable sport skills are when it comes to life success. When it comes to positive sports leadership, helping kids use sport as a vehicle for life success is key.
If you are a coach, parent, or a league operator or administrator, be sure to help kids learn the importance of athletic transferable skills. These skills include setting and achieving goals, being a team player, accepting constructive feedback, being a positive decision maker and role model, bouncing back from adversity, and learning how to minimize anxiety while improving self-confidence. Of course, this is just a short list of athletic transferable skills, so be sure to help the kids you work with better understand just how many sport skills can be used for life success.
As people, the more confident we become in our abilities the more likely we will become successful at the endeavors we attempt. One way to dramatically improve self-confidence is to identify the skills you already have — for athletes, identifying athletic transferable skills are the key! Interestingly, these skills can help in so many ways, including through the inevitable sport retirement transition, as well as countless life experiences including academics and future careers.
Most youth athletes tend to assume all kids have learned the same skills as they have (including non-athletes), or haven’t quite made the connection as to how the confidence they have in their sport can be parlayed to help them gain confidence in non-athletic experiences (like giving a speech in front of a class in school). In both of these examples it is important for adults, including parents and coaches, to be overt in their suggestions about how athletic transferable skills are unique to athletes and how the skills can be used successfully across life settings.
With less than 7% of all high school athletes going ton to play college sports, and less than 2% of all college athletes going on to play professional sports, it is especially important to cull from the skill set developed in sports that can be used to increase life success.
Being an athlete high in mental toughness for sports is great, but what about life? Just about every sport psychologist you talk to to will agree that limiting these great skills to sport at the cost of using them in life is quite a tragedy. Not only do athletic transferable skills help with sport transitions, but can also help with future focus and resiliency, too. In fact, the skills learned through sports may just end up being the most important skills an athlete learns throughout his or her life.
For more information about the importance of athletic transferable skills, as well as other products designed to help with athletic success, please visit Advanced Human Performance Systems!