The Consequences of Labeling A Child Athlete
A study was conducted that looked at individuals’ names and the careers that they picked later in life, and the results were remarkable.
The study revealed that the number one name for Dentists was Dennis. The researchers contended that a phenomenon existed called “implicit egotism.” The words that we associate with our names can actually shape our decisions and identity.
Now it doesn’t mean that every dentist out there is named Dennis, or every Lauren becomes a lawyer, but merely that the names that we are called and associate with are what we gravitate towards later in life.
“Consequences” has a negative connotation to it, however, regardless of the connotation, there are simply natural consequences of labeling a child athlete that applies to any action in life.
There was this one athlete, and the parents introduced her as “Perfect little Rachel.”
And I’m wondering in my head how long have they been calling her that?
Because perfection is a pretty high standard.
“Hey, here comes Johnny, our Star Second baseman.”
Whatever we are called is what we’re gonna associate with and that’s the natural consequences of labeling a child athlete. What happens with Johnny when he’s no longer the “Star Second Baseman”, or Rachel is no longer “perfect”?
Whatever we want them to associate with is what we’ve got to call our athletes.
Here’s what we need to label them….
Call your athletes competitors!
Why? Because we can compete in anything in life.
The best type of mental toughness competition is always against ourselves.
Is not always about beating somebody else, but we can compete in being a friend. We can compete in being a good neighbor, being a great teammate, doing well on a test.
And we can always compete.
And the more that we compete with ourselves, the better that we get. So we don’t need to put pressure on individuals by calling them certain names like Perfect or this is our star goalie, call them a competitor. There’s your mental toughness tip of the day, knowing the natural consequences of labeling a child athlete.
Then watch, because that’s what they will become.
Check out the blog from Koach Karl as well here.
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.
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