April 16, 2012
Youth Soccer Insight: Fun is a Wonderful Motivator
The Term Fun can be Undervalued – Dr. Dina Gentile Remembers When She Didn’t Embrace the Term.
As a former collegiate coach, I would cringe when I would hear my players telling others they enjoyed going to practice because it was “fun”. “Fun”, I would think to myself, meant we were involved with unorganized practices, players would be running around without a purpose, and I would simply be a cheerleader instead of a leader. Now, that I can reflect upon my college coaching, perhaps using the term “fun” bothered me more than it should have, because the meaning of the word may have embodied much more than I realized for those players. Which made me consider, what exactly does “fun” mean?
The term “fun” probably has multiple meanings for athletes. Younger people would define fun perhaps, as enjoying the activities and games that teach them about the sport. The game of blob tag with or without the ball makes younger players laugh and smile as they run to avoid being tagged. These young players must keep the ball close to avoid the blob and move into open space. I am convinced that most players want to be tagged so they can be part of the blob!