Par­ents must care more about en­joy­ment, not re­wards

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA -

Chen Zhengzhi, 31, has been en­gaged in the de­vel­op­ment of youth sports since 2008, spe­cial­iz­ing in soccer from2013, and is also deputy sec­re­tary of the Chaoyang Dis­trict Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion in Bei­jing.

There is no doubt that the re­cently re­leased poli­cies have led to a rise in the num­ber of peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing in soccer, in terms of both am­a­teur play­ers and re­lated busi­nesses. Older play­ers in the field are also dis­cov­er­ing newways to break through. These fac­tors have re­sulted in im­proved de­vel­op­ment of sports gen­er­ally and­may help the coun­try’s soccer play­ers per­form bet­ter at the pro­fes­sional level.

How­ever, some par­ents are send­ing their kids to soccer schools with a far too util­i­tar­ian, or re­sult-ori­ented, mind­set that em­pha­sizes how well the child per­forms and what they can gain. Frommy per­spec­tive, this con­tra­dicts the very na­ture of soccer, which is team­work. After all, it is a team sport.

If par­ents have an ex­tremely self­ish mind­set, their chil­dren will be in­flu­enced and there will be no point in talk­ing about “the team”. The kids would only care about their own im­prove­ment and gain­ing a place at a renowned school via their soccer skills.

Luck­ily we don’t see many self­ish kids on the turf, but some par­ents used to yell and scold them for mak­ing moves that didn’t fit the coach’s meth­ods, or for zon­ing out. We per­fectly un­der­stand why kids do these things and we have mea­sures to guide them. Sadly, some par­ents didn’t get it, and oc­ca­sion­ally they even rushed onto the field to be­rate their kids. In the end, we had to move the par­ents fur­ther away from the pitch.

I have talked tomany par­ents, pos­si­bly as­many as 2,000. In terms of the rea­sons they send their chil­dren to soccer schools, there are gen­er­ally three types of par­ents: those who sim­ply fol­low the trend and fear that their kids will fall be­hind oth­ers or won’t blend in; those who want their kids to win cer­tifi­cates that may ben­e­fit them in fu­ture school en­trance ex­ams; and those who value their child’s in­ter­ests.

I guess these three types are quite dis­tinct from each other, but for­tu­nately, many post-1980s par­ents are firmly in the third cat­e­gory.

Chen Zhengzhi spoke with China Daily.

If par­ents have an ex­tremely self­ish mind­set, their chil­dren will be in­flu­enced ...

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