As youth athletes, most kids and teens have participated on sports teams where they have been constantly punished with exercise. These young athletes tend to tie negative actions such as misbehaving at practice, losing a game because of mistakes, dropping a pass, missing the goal, and more, with punishment like running or push ups. Because of this connection between negative actions and exercise as punishment, kids are taught that exercise and pushing yourself is supposed to be miserable, not enjoyable.
What if, starting from a young age, coaches used exercise as a privilege instead of a punishment? If a coach told a misbehaving youth athlete that he or she had to sit out while their team ran together, wouldn’t exercise and pushing yourself be seen as a privilege? By excluding the misbehaving athlete from the exercise, that athlete has to watch his or her team improve and get stronger together without participating. This scenario would make youth athletes want to be part of exercise instead of viewing it as a miserable punishment. Along with this, when exercise is seen as a privilege, athletes are more likely to see the positive side of pushing themselves to get stronger instead of just feeling the negative physical pain that might come with the exercise. This would cause the athlete to tie the negative physical pain with the positive privilege of exercising and becoming a stronger, better athlete. Therefore, exercise wouldn’t be viewed as a miserable thing like it is viewed in the eyes of most teens today, instead it would be seen as important to the athletes improvement and maybe even enjoyable.
At SportperformanceU exercise is always a privilege. As an intern at SportperformanceU, I can honestly say that this is the only place where I have heard kids asking if they’re allowed to do more reps or if they can add more weight. When kids come in to do their workouts, coaches are on the floor to lead the athletes and watch the athletes technique closely. In the SportperformanceU environment, kids are never punished by receiving more exercise. Instead, when a SportperformanceU coach sees a youth athlete using incorrect technique or slacking off, that athlete is told to stop the exercise and is either corrected or the exercise is taken away. Because of this, correct technique and focus while exercising is something that has become very important to SportperformanceU athletes. By punishing through taking away an exercise or correcting a technique, more challenging workouts are something that SportperformanceU athletes want to earn. Through this form of coaching, it becomes a goal for athletes to push themselves to become stronger. SportperformanceU athletes grow eager and motivated to get stronger and achieve a record holding spot on the website.