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The Importance Of Problem Solving for Youth Athletes

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The Importance Of Problem Solving for Youth Athletes

Problem Solving "the process of finding solutions to difficult or complex issues".

Sports IQ "expertise and judgment in that particular sport. Good athletes devote the time and attention to develop into experts at what they do".

There is a difference between being athletically gifted and achieving success in your athletic endeavours. Sports require a high level of technical ability as well as the capability to apply the skills in an efficient manner. This is where athletes with greater problem solving, and sports IQ are able to excel over their opponents.

This is why we see athletes like Sam Mitchell and Stuart Dew excelling at their sport despite not having what we might class as 'elite athletic abilities' when compared to athletes in their generation. But the problem solving and sports IQ that they possess was able to keep them playing at very high levels for many years of their career.

We can encourage kids to develop these skills from an earlier age through games and tasks that require a large amount of problem solving in a competitive manner. Simple games such as 'Octopus' or 'Tag' at an elementary and kindergarten level allow the kids to develop evasive skills and body awareness when dodging an attacker and other players. Additionally, as they become teenagers their best examples of developing problem solving and sports IQ are in game based scenario drills as well as reactive warmup games.

The more often they are exposed to having to make quick decisions, the more likely they are to make the right decision come game day as they have practiced it numerous times before. This falls into saying 'working smarter not harder'. If your child is always able to get into the right spot rather than having to work their butts off running around the field all day, they'll experience a lot more success and catch the eye of a lot more scouts.

This is where we have started incorporating the GOAT drill into our warmups at Inner Athlete as a way of challenging the individual to problem sole and process numerous stimuli whilst remaining in control, Over time, y our body becomes more efficient at processing this sporadic stimuli and you are able to handle an increasing amount at a faster rate.

To find how to improve your youth athlete's performance and overall wellbeing, contact us at Inner Athlete.

Matt Hucul
Junior Strength Coach
Inner Athlete (AUS)

#youthathletes #youngathletes #teenathletes

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