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How Do I Know if my Child is Talented? Tips for Coaches and Parents.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when you grow up” – Picasso
The child’s brain has enormous, unlimited capacity. Imagination and creativity are two traits that continually require proper stimulation. Therefore, combining cognitive ability, creativity and curiosity may lead to develop children with potential into great talent in future. Limiting the above-mentioned strengths leads to the born artist becoming just an ordinary individual, as is the case with the majority of us.
Talent isn’t a gift. It’s a long-term process of channelling our resources in the best manner. Because talent is a long-term process there is no such a thing like an elite eight years old, high performance 10 years old or professional 11-year-old. It simply does not happen; however, we can spot the potential with children at that age that may suggest success over long-term development.
What to do so that a child develops its potential and remains an artist once it is completely grown up? Here are some valuable tips that may helps you spot the potential with children you are coaching:
1. Create environment where mistakes are welcome. Best players in the world constantly make mistakes. However, is not about making mistakes, it’s about to learn from them. Does your child/player show good learning habits? Is he/she a smart learner who is learning from experiences, make their own football game more effective, understanding that failure is part of their development?
2. Set challenges that test child personality. Children with potential will love the challenge. They will see it as great opportunity to learn, experimenting with new things. They will never look at it as something to avoid at all cost, something that is a treat to their existing comfort zone. They will be confident to try one and their response will be positive.
3. They will often challenge coaches and ask questions during training sessions. High potential children hate status quo. They are very innovative, seeking ways to always experimenting during practices and explore their personal and football skills. They will usually ask questions such as why we do things the way we do and offer own suggestions to change it.
4. They never give up and show great determination to master new task and, in the end, trying to achieved success. When the new concept is introduced on training, they will be very focus, take new information on board. Their motivation won’t be driven by success of it, but the effort they need to put in in order to succeeded.
5. Reaction-Is it positive, in doubt or totally negative in relation to changing game circumstances, new environments? Observing children in different circumstances is a powerful tool that may tell us about their potential. Those kids would be happy to chose to play for “weaker team “and with “lesser “kids. Simply because they want raise bar for themselves and enjoyed challenges that associate with it. Moreover, they will do that consistently and their reaction will be most likely positive. How do they react when their team winning and when experience loss? In most cases experience losing, they will be seeking ways to change the outcome of the game, have personal drive and encourage their teammates in positive way to keep going as opposed to simply give up.
6. Self-belief, by observing and simply having a conversation with them may give us enough indicators that they have confidence to achieved success. These children will already have developed good habits of thinking as to what they need to do to achieved success. It won’t be view by them as arrogance but as how much effort they need to put in to achieved success.
7. Show match instinct ability. Although is perfectly natural for majority children at foundation phase being selfish, those with high potential skills will be intelligent enough to understand they are team players too. These children will show high interest to discuss with others basic team tactics. In addition, they will be able to understand and demonstrate them during the game, show match instinct ability.
8. Solving problems on and off the pitch. Clever children will find many different solutions to same scenario or situation on the football pitch. They will find innovative and creative way of dealing with the problem usually without any guidelines form the coach.
9. Resilience. Being resilient to setbacks is an essential part of children with potential to grow and develop their talent to shine in future. They will see minor and major failures as a part of learning journey and positive outcome for their future improvement.
10. Emotions in key moments of their life or football experiences. Children with potential to grow their talent in sport will able to potentially control their emotions. After heavy loss instead of showing bad mood, they may speak positively with their teammates about the game and their performances.