So I posted a question on Facebook Monday, and got some good responses. My answer to the question—”How do you measure your daughter’s improvement in athletics from year-to-year?”—follows.
Because I have a background in coaching, I was a little more specific in measuring my daughter’s progress. We also did this with my sons.
We had six areas that we measured; they were:
- Overall athletic skill
- Knowledge of the sport
- Emotional control
Overall athletic skill
My children played mulitple sports and so we worked on their overall athletic ability. As an example, softball and baseball are one-side dominate (throwing and batting are usually on the same side of the body). Playing other sports works other muscle groups.
Each child had a specific weightlifting regimen. My boys would often compete against their friends with the number of pounds lifted, but my daughter did more circuit training (explosive movements). When she got to college her strength-and-conditioning coach introduced her to a totally different workout that included Olympic weightlifting.
My children’s conditioning was usually taken care of by the coaches of the sports they were playing at the time.
Knowledge of the sport
Being in the stands watching my children play gave me the opportunity to notice things that they were lacking in regards to strategies or knowledge that would enhance their performance. All three of my chindren are competitive; they saw an extra set of eyes (mine) as a plus. In fact, they would often ask me for feedback which I gladly gave. A word of caution: if your feedback is not wanted it can be viewed as critical and negative.
The further your child progresses in a sport the more important her emotional control becomes. There are a few reason for this: a) the stakes are usually higher; b) the speed of the game increases—your child usually has less time to think and react; c) there’s more talent all around—the game is played as close to perfection as is humanly possible; d) games are usually longer making fatigue a factor; and e) the number of games and practices increase.
I also agree that one way to measure improvement is if your child is having fun. Do your best to make it fun because the time you spend with your daughter (or son) related to sports can be some of the best times in both of your lives if handled correctly.