I am a wrestling coach and our season just started. I have noticed that I spend a lot of time talking about motivation. It wasn’t always like this. I don’t remember having a lack of motivation when I played sports. What has changed? Much of the research I did has broad applications and is worth sharing.

As a coach, I have noticed that fewer kids are participating in sports. At first glance, one may think it’s because kids are lazier, their parents baby them and/or they lack ambition. Although not entirely incorrect, I think there is more to it.

Whether a parent or not, most of us know that kids need structure and attention. I believe these are the two things that are most lacking in our kids today. It could be that parents are more distracted with screen time and don’t take the time to set boundaries and spend quality time with their kids. I’m not accusing; just an observation.

All kids rebel to some degree, but sometimes they take it a step too far. When they get into things like drugs, alcohol, vape, parties, sex, and pornography, it changes who they are. Addiction to these things can be difficult to break and will affect a kid’s behavior and priorities. Add cell phones and video games to the mix and you have a recipe for killing motivation.

We got here through incrementalism, which is slowly eroding away our community values. Tips to counter this include paying more attention to your kids, setting screen time limits, not allowing cell phones in the bedroom/bathroom, getting 9-10 hours of sleep at night and getting proper nutrition. We can’t expect to fix this overnight, but we can start the process of recognizing the situation and addressing each aspect. It is an investment worth making! After all, the kids are our future.

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