Do Uncoachable Kids Become Unemployable Adults?

There was a time when I would have wholeheartedly agreed with this…

Now, I don’t. It’s not so simple.

Recently a picture with this statement popped up in my Facebook timeline.. a bunch of times. My friend (amazing sports mama of four and Olympic gold medalist) Samantha Arensault Livingstone, also saw it and wrote an article addresses what is at stake if we continue this approach to parenting and coaching.

In her article, she writes :

I don’t think there’s such a thing as an uncoachable kid. I think there are kids who are at times, uncoachable. There’s a big difference. A critical difference.

And, honoring this difference doesn’t mean we toss out accountability and ownership. Just the opposite.

So what does that really look like?

Samantha’s Six Pillars of High-Performance is a great place to start.

If we want our kids to become brave, mindful, resilient leaders – in and out of the athletic arena – which is what I think is behind this photo, we must help them develop the foundational skills necessary:

Samantha Arensault Livingstone


These are skills we need our athletes developing….before we invest in more private lessons, more time in the gym, pool, mat, field, pitch, etc.

And guess where it starts?

Which means, we must cultivate these skills for ourselves first.

Samanatha Arsenault Livingstone

Yep, with us. We can influence our athletes when we do hard things, too.

At the end of her article, Samantha asks an important question and issues us a challenge.

What’s it going to take to shift the cultural currents?

Navigating hard conversations. Turning toward. Moving in. Call all stakeholders to the table. Unifying over shared values. Paying attention to what we’ve learned from the researchers who study courage, resilience and high-performance. It’s hard work. And it’s work we must do. For our kids. We can do hard things. Especially this kind.

Samantha Arsenault Livingstone

She is up for the challenge.

Are you?

Please take a minute to read her full article here and then listen to her on the Sports Moms United 15-Minute Huddle Podcast.

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