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The Soccer Sidelines

131 EpisodesProduced by David DejewskiWebsite

Join Coach Dave on the sidelines as he brings you in on what’s going on behind the scenes and the stuff that really matters in youth sports. Understand the game, development, and ways you can support your young athlete at home!


Empathy Through Youth Sports

Being able to connect and empathize with teammates and our opponents is a powerful skill that youth sports helps us to develop. In this episode, we talk about learning empathy through youth sports - what it looks like, good examples, bad examples, and some things to look if you're coaching character development in your program. Too often, we overlook the lesson of empathy through youth sports as soft or less valuable than other lessons, but as we'll discover, this can be one of the more important lessons our kids can learn in the youth sports environment. "Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another"- Alfred AdlerWhat is Empathy and why is it so important in life?How does youth sports help kids to develop empathy? How do we deliberately create an environment where empathy can grow?How can Empathetic kids and parents improve the game of soccer and elevate the sport?"Empathy, which implies a shared interpersonal experience, is implicated in many aspects of social cognition, notably prosocial behavior, morality and the regulation of aggression."Jean DecetyCenter for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of ChicagoEmpathy as a Key IngredientAnyone who has worked for someone else for any length of time understands that there are differences between "bosses" and "leaders." Totally task oriented, overlooking the human elements - if the person in charge lacks empathy, employees are often miserable. It is said that when people are dissatisfied at work, they leave their bosses, not their jobs.There is a difference between the "Boss" and the leader: Empathy. Taken to the extreme, a lack of empathy is seen along a spectrum of personality disorders from narcissism to antisocial personality disorders. We might make an argument that Empathy is one of those traits that act like social glue that holds people together in communities. It allows us to experience other important emotions like respect for others and remorse when we've done something to hurt someone. People leave managers, not companies."Marcus Buckingham, Author and Speaker Advantage of Learning Empathy Through Youth SportsYouth sports helps kids to develop and mature Empathy. From the first time they take a knee at a soccer match in respect for a fallen colleague, to each time they encounter the natural coupling of a win and a loss, kids mix and journey with one another through literally thousands of events each season.Practices offer chances for kids to see one another push themselves - or not. They get to choose whether to offer encouragement when a team mate is down, or run past them. They see one another when they are making mistakes and may be feeling vulnerable. Kids can choose to taunt and belittle one another into action, or they can choose to lift one another to greatness. Kids take cues from the adults in their lives as to how they should behave. In the learning process, they try different adult examples on for size. They might try yelling at one another, calling out "wake up out there!" or "what's wrong with you?!" Or they may choose to take the shot every time, or to intentionally pass the ball to a team mate who needs to build a little confidence shooting on goal. Often, the kids show demonstrate Empathy on a sports field are the ones who bubble up to the surface over time as team leaders - even when they are not the most technically gifted player on the team. Kids can choose to taunt and belittle one another into action, or they can choose to lift one another to greatness."David Dejewski, Coach and President of the Damascus Soccer ClubWHAT DOES Empathy - OR LACK OF Empathy - IN YOUTH SPORTS LOOK LIKE?Positive ExamplesJunior, a high school player, puts his arm around an opponent after a game who is clearly upset and says "you guys are getting much better - you’re going to beat us one of these times.

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