We love the scoreboard, the standings, the stats. They’re easy to see. They help us measure what we’ve accomplished. They serve as a way to mark our progress and measure ourselves against our competition. They’re important. They’re just not the most important thing when we’re developing young athletes.
The most important thing, and the context for considering those accomplishments, is creating capacity. How has the process of accomplishing those results, whether its on the scoreboard or in training, helped the young athlete grow their capacity to take the next step, to accomplish even more in the future? Reframing the process this way puts things in a larger context and helps us think about what we want to emphasize and how much competition or training is too much. How does the next tournament, the next practice, the next training session fit into the larger purpose of helping young athletes discover and develop their potential and enjoy the process of development as much as accomplishing the results? It’s a good question to struggle with.