Hello All, and welcome back to another edition of X on Fitness!

As we discussed about Coaching and Parenting Coaching & Parenting earlier, now we shall discuss about the 4 Ls:Look, Listen, Learn and Love. I want to explain the link these words have to training, and the bond they can create between you, your athletes and your children.

Let’s begin with Look. Children need to be able to take an honest look at themselves. They need to judge their strengths and weaknesses in order to improve, whether in sports, education or relationships. Being self-critical in a positive way is vital to a child’s development as an athlete.

Next is Listen. After a self-critical look, a child needs to listen to the coach to learn ways s to improve. This is not always easy. Many children are unable to hear constructive criticism. They would rather stop doing something they don t feel they are good at. This is where a skilled coach can be a tremendous asset. As a coach, I expect children to listen to me, but I also listen to them. There is mutual respect as we work together to make them better athletes.

The next L is Learn. After looking and listening, a child needs to analyze the information he has acquired. This is a real challenge for kids to do by themselves. Again, this is where the coach plays a huge role. Do I want to give kids all the answers? No, they don’t learn from that and they don’t develop from that. What I do as a coach is ask children the right questions and then allow them to find their own answer. It’s a real skill to be able to ask the right questions and have the patience to watch children discover answers by themselves. I encourage children to view themselves in a way that is positive and promotes growth from within. My goal is to use a child’s passion for sports as a way to help him learn to improve in all aspects of life. I want to build people of character out of these young men and women, not just athletes.

The 4th L is Love, love of the game and love of the sport. A passion makes all the hard work seem less like work. So love, I tell both my athletes and my own children. Love what you are doing, be passionate about it. And remember each of the 4 Ls: Look, listen, learn and Love.