Adults act, often unconsciously and well-intended, based on their own perspective instead of the perspective of the child.
Some cliches from coaches and teachers: ‘work hard’, ‘do your thing’, ‘have fun’, ‘just play’, ‘concentrate’, ‘you can do it’, etc.
We can all dream of them.
‘But how, exactly?’ I always asked myself. You rarely hear the ‘how’. I want to change that.
So, HOW do children create the right circumstances THEMSELVES so that they increase the chances of achieving their goals?
It is my passion to create better learning environments within sports and education for future generations.
This website explains why that is necessary and how we can achieve this.
Here you can find relevant information for:
– Organizations such as sports federations and educational bodies
– Professionals such as coaches and teachers
– Children who want to become the best version of themselves and their parents
BE THE ADULT WHO CHILDREN DON’T NEED
What I have observed as a professional football player, student, teacher, coach, and consultant is that adults who work with children often have the right intentions and are well qualified. However, despite their passion, their approach often doesn’t enable the children to realise their full potential.
As I have been lucky to experience first-hand how it is to be part of elite football academies, such as AFC Ajax, FC Utrecht, and the Dutch National Football Association (KNVB), I have good reference points within the field of sports. Besides having experienced youth football at the highest level, I have finished a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Amsterdam in 2017. These are considered high-level learning environments for children and adolescents, however, I believe that there is still much room for improvement.
After finishing University, I lived in Australia for three years to challenge myself socially and professionally. As I learned more about the ideal learning environments for adults and children, I have bundled my approach under the slogan:
“Be the adult who children don’t need.”
DISADVANTAGES OF TRADITIONAL APPROACH
Traditional education has its roots in the Industrial Revolution whereby it was designed to be efficient: teach the same skillset to as many children as possible in a limited amount of time. There was no interest in the individual developmental needs of children. Unfortunately, this approach hasn’t evolved enough over time. Still, default approaches within child education are often (unintentionally) centered around the adult instead of the child. This is the case within sports and schools.
The problems of the traditional approach:
- Adult instructed
- Constant environment
- Focus on short-term results
- Dependent on the presence of adult
- Focus on external motivation (reward or punishment)
- Dependent on the judgement of adult (appraisal or criticism)
Moreover, besides the clichés and standard activities, there is:
- Not enough focus on independence
- Not enough focus on ownership
- Not enough focus on creativity
- Not enough focus on mental health
- Not enough focus on physical health
- Not enough focus on nutrition
This results too often in unhealthy passive children, who develop themselves with a focus on external factors such as status and money. These children are less likely to realise their full potential and, unfortunately, are more likely to pass their lifestyle on to future generations.
HOW CAN WE CHANGE THIS FOR THE BETTER?
The solution is an approach that is based on:
- Child’s needs
- Child initiation
- Differential learning
- Focus on an understanding of processes
- Focus on internal motivation
- Ownership of the child
- Creativity of the child
- Helping the child to become independent
- Helping the child understand their mental health
- Helping the child understand their physical health
- Helping the child prepare for performances
This approach leads to proactive children, who are intrinsically motivated, enjoy the process, are empowered, and more creative. This results in a healthier and more pleasant life. These children are more likely to realise their full potential and pass this lifestyle on to future generations.
Isn’t this what we all want? Click on projects to see how we can help each other.
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“Jip has been coaching my 4 children privately for the past 2 years – a combination of private, or 4 in a group, or 2 and 2: Jip is very flexible and adaptable. His training sessions are always carefully tailored to each child, hitting just the right balance between challenging them to do better, matching their skill level, and (always) having fun. Regardless of your skill level, Jip is the coach for you. His method is firm, fair and very insightful, and focusses on the ‘whole’ child, not just their football skills. My kids love Jip, and we consider him part of the family.”
Football mum of 4
Jip is a winner! Although he would say that winning is not the most important. Jip knows how to transfer his passion and drive to become better at everything that he does to children and organizations. He is the personification of resilience and motivation. Despite the physical distance between us over the last years, we have gotten to know each other, and I am looking forward to our upcoming conversations about coaching and educating.
Chris hageraats – Founder ubuntu sport
"Jip has worked with our children for around 12 months now; during this time, we have seen demonstrated improvement and confidence with Jip's added training schedule. We have been very impressed with Jip's communication style and rapport that he has with our children. We also have high confidence in his football ability and football brain given his professional background as a youth player for Ajax and Netherlands. I would highly recommend Jip - no question."
football dad of 3
“Over the last years, Jip and I have had regular training sessions. We focused on when and where to use a range of 1v1 skills. As he is a very high achieving player himself, he also makes me think much more about the game than I used to. His feedback is very helpful. We also did video analysis of my games, which helped me develop in a few key areas.”
Jip has proven to be skilful beyond his years: from the expertise of being a football player in his youth to present (a natural sportsman and honed from training)....to his knowledge and experience from his education, and now through his evolving career in education and coaching. He has an insightful approach when he works with children and the youth, even training adults and his colleagues, as he succeeds in professionally sharing his passion for sports and education just by simply being genuine in doing what he loves to do.
Margret Ranada Palma – Montessori 3 to 6 guide & montessori sports course participant
"I recommend training with Jip because he is really encouraging and makes you think a lot about not only the physical things, but the mental things as well. The sessions are also really fun”
"Jip's coaching compliments the coaching our son receives from his club and school. The individual focus he provides is hugely beneficial, working on mastering control of the ball (e.g. first touch, transition of the ball under pressure), as well as understanding how to be in control of every situation on the field of play. Using his own experience in youth football at the very highest level, Jip is also an excellent teacher of the mental skills, attitude and self-motivation required for a young footballer with professional aspirations."
When you talk with Jip, you can feel the passion he has for children. He talks about the children that he works with an eye for individual development and a lot of love.
rik verhage – afc ajax youth coach