Many of the topics I cover on my blog find their impetus in media-friendly sources like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, USA Today, etc. (or online sources connected with these), as well as several other popular and semi-popular internet websites.
However, limiting oneself to only these types of sources can lead to missing some really good "stuff." The kind of stuff that helps create a better understanding of the reasoning behind how some athletes are able to reach higher levels of performance and success than do others.
It was just two Sundays ago that a unique and interesting piece, written by Bill Wells at MassLive.com (In youth sports, some athletes click a second time), was identified by my search alerts. The kind of piece that made me sit up and take notice.
No, MassLive.com is not the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, or some special sports journal that publishes Pulitzer Prize winning material (at least not to my knowledge) nor does Bill Wells tout himself as "the" youth sports guru of the internet. However, Bill's article did a wonderful job of pointing out why there are some athletes who truly demonstrate an understanding of purposeful athletic endeavor, while so many others don't.
His piece discusses the concept of what he calls the "first click," the switch that happens when a youngster participating in an athletic activity actually becomes a player. Essentially, when "that switch turns on and that youth sports athlete 'gets it'."
Bill goes on to explain how the timing of this "first click" is not relative to any specific age or time frame, and that when this switch happens, everyone is aware of it since the athlete starts showing a genuine interest in playing their sport. They actually like going to practice. Gone are the days when they picked dandelions on the field while others were playing, in fact, they actually spend time with their friends participating in the sport they are learning to love.
I am sure most parents welcome this first click of athletic interest; I know all coaches do, that's for sure.
So what is this second click all about?
Well...Bill states that:
"The difference between an athlete who has clicked once compared to one who has clicked twice is the athlete who has clicked a second time doesn't need to be told, asked, encouraged or bribed to practice on their own. And when I say practice, I don't mean taking crazy shots at the basketball hoop in the driveway, hitting tennis balls over the roof, or jumping on the trampoline. That's not practicing - that's being a kid.
The athletes who have clicked a second time will practice free throws in the driveway, hit baseballs or softballs into a net off a tee in the basement, ride their bikes to the tennis court to practice their serves, go to the golf range, walk to a nearby pond with their skates to work on their stick handling, juggle a soccer ball, lift weights, go for a run - and the athletes will do this all on their own."
An interesting perspective to say the least; however, Bill doesn't stop there as he brings even more clarity to this topic in Part II: Bill Wells Discusses The "Second Click" In Youth Sports, Then Asks If There Is A Third. And yes I do believe there is a "third click," something I will address in the following piece so don't miss it.