Over the years I've used as many analogies as possible to explain to folks how athletic development and sports performance works…and doesn't work.
I've used academics, cars, other professions etc.
Today I present to you the notion of “microwave versus crockpot”
Full disclosure – my mentor and friend Mike Boyle (one the most recognized and acclaimed strength coaches in the world) posted a video about this on Instagram. So I'm using his line and sharing my thoughts with you.
The point I try to make the most is that athletic success takes time. Now this can sometimes be confused with frequency.
We can't take any shortcuts when it comes to the development of our kids. Adding more training sessions, practices and workouts won't replace more quality, and appropriate frequency over years…and years.
We quite often see this with “early succeeders”. Kids that succeed early often get caught in the trap of more.
This leads to unbalance.
If fact, I just had a conversation about this yesterday with a great Dad who is trying to find balance for his 10-year-old who plays soccer. Doesn't that just sound wrong?
This young child has already been forced to drop other activities to make room for more soccer practices.
This puts this family in a tough spot. There is quite often a feeling of being held back, left behind, falling behind or not improving fast enough (none of which is true) and that is perpetuated by coaches and clubs. There is fear of letting down teammates and coaches.
So, what to do? Don't be in such a rush.
Tell them you love them and you just love watching them play. Period.
Don't' try to quantify it, analyze it or put context to it.
Teach them this early.
Understand more is not better…better is better.
Just say no. Your young athlete will not fall behind by missing a practice to rest, recover or get to the gym to work on their body. They will perform better!
Don't measure their development by one game, one season or even a year. It takes YEARS. As they go through normal human growth and development they go through tons of changes we can't fight…it's mother nature and it's more important than any game.
Don't' be in a rush.
Don't microwave your kids. Let them slow cook.