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These days, Pappatrenerne is launched, the first Norwegian podcast about sports for children and young people. The podcast caters to all adults who are engaged in sports for ban and young people in different ways. It is a deep dive into how participation in sports and how it affects both children and adults. Dad coaches don't hide the fact that they are critical of some of the developments we see in the sport.
"In the first episode, we focus on specialization. The trend we are seeing is that children and young people at an increasingly younger age are encouraged to choose which sport to bet on. We see that the amount of training is increasing and that more and more sports are run all year round, making it harder to be versatile and experiment with different sports. We ask if this development is happening on children's terms, or driven by adults' ambitions and pressures on results. We simply ask if we adults are about to destroy the sport for the children,"" says Eirik Øiestad, who together with Martin Blekkerud makes up the Dad Coaches.
In episode 1 of The Dad Coaches, Bjarte Myrhol is a guest. The national team captain is himself an example that early specialisation is not the only way to go to reach an international top level. Bjarte combined football and handball until the age of 16, which he believes is a key to success.
"Play and versatility have been a prerequisite for my development as an athlete, and especially for the motivation to lay down the hard work that is ultimately required to reach the top. I fear that the game will have less space in the sports service for children and young people, and that we do not give children good enough conditions to be versatile. Early specialization and performance focus creates apostasy in my opinion, which in turn compromises both breadth and top of the sport," says Myrhol.
Here you can hear the first episode of The Dad Trainers:
Listen to Spotify here
in iTunes here
or in the browser here
The first episode of The Dad Coaches is out now, and the handball is well represented. Bjarte's national team-mate Magnus Abelvik Rød tells his story, about a sensational short and versatile path to the top of international handball. Magnus started handball as a 12-year-old, and was involved in taekwondo, swimming and football on the road. Only six years after his first handball training session, he made his debut for the German team Flensburg Handewitt and the Norwegian national team.
In the next few episodes, The Dad Coaches will delve into topics that interest all the hundreds of thousands of adults engaged in sports for children and young people, whether as coaches, managers or parents.
"We think children's sports are a fantastic arena for development and joy. At the same time, the sport of movement is a massive experiment with children's physical and mental health, in which the adults set the premises. 97 per cent of all children are involved in organised sports, but from the age of 12 we have a drop-off of 50 per cent. Why is it so? In the podcast we look at the latest research, and hold practice in Norwegian sport up against new knowledge about sports and children's development. In the next episodes we talk to one of the world's foremost sports psychologists, Jean Coté. He has proven that play creates better development and is more performance-enhancing over time than traditional training, but points out that we still train children as if they were adults. We believe this is knowledge that will create reflection among many with coaching roles in children's sport. We want to contribute to a broader and more nuanced debate about the development of the sport than the one we see today," says dad coach Øiestad.
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