Developing Athletes And Pumpkin Seeds

img_1872I gathered the girls in the soccer training group in a corner of the gym after a workout and gave them each a pumpkin seed. “Do we eat these,” one of them asked?  ” Not yet,”I told her.

I asked them what do you have to do to make this grow? The obvious answers came quickly – plant it; water it; feed and fertilize it; weed around it, give it sunlight.

In a sense it’s how we grow anything. We decide want to grow it. Then we give it what it needs, in the right amount, at the right times, over time. Then we pay attention, respond to what we see and adjust.

For an athlete to develop their potential we do the same things. Give them the right things, in the right amounts, at the right times, over time. Then we pay attention, respond to what we see and adjust. It’s as simple and as complex as that.

That tender seed won’t benefit from the same amount of water or fertilizer that a mature vine needs, in the same way that the workouts or plans or exercises that a 25 year old elite athlete needs are appropriate for a 16 year old. What our college coach did with us is usually not what we need to be doing with our young players.

imageBut, if we do the right stuff, in the right amount, at the right time, over time and then pay attention and adjust – wow, the results can be truly amazing. And, we have the seeds for another generation.

OK. You can eat your pumpkin seeds now.

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