Unlike most of society, I respect and admire the hell out of skateboarders. In fact, I believe that our young soccer players and coaches have so much to learn from them.
For most of us, when we think about prominent skateboarders, Tony Hawk is the first that comes to mind.
But how did he get to the elite level and become a living legend? How did Tony Hawk learn to fly off a ramp, complete a 900-degree spin, and then land successfully? How did Tony Hawk have the nerve and the audacity to try something that no other skater had ever done?
The answer: He jumped off a ramp and smashed into the ground hundreds of times. But then, he got back up. And he tried again. And again. And again.
Risks, Resiliency, and Patience
The skaters of the world have exorbitant amounts of resiliency and are not afraid to take risks. They enjoy the process of trying something new, failing, and then trying again until they get it right. They do not get discouraged by setbacks, failures, or broken bones.
As a result, they end up mastering incredible things that most humans wouldn’t even dare attempt.
If we want our young soccer players to become their best possible selves, we need to encourage them to take risks and try new things. When the first attempt at something new fails (which it does most of the time), we must encourage them to try again. And when they fail again, to try again. Over and over.
We must encourage our players to keep trying until they get it right, and once they finally do get it, celebrate and encourage the next new thing.
Failure is going to be part of the process, but in the long run, taking risks, overcoming setbacks, and being patient through the learning process will allow our young players to become better and more successful.
We should encourage and allow our children to enjoy this process of experiential learning, and as a result of their experiences, they will develop into competent, resilient, and fearless soccer players.