Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with U.S. Freeskiing halfpipe coach Ben Verge to get his thoughts on personal bests and personal records.
When our youth athletes strive to achieve their personal best, victory is won on and off the hill. Encouraging our kids to set individual goals and focus on maximum personal effort benefits both the player and the team – in a variety of ways.
Athletes who come to realize that personal development can be even more rewarding than a win are mastery-focused athletes who build the confidence and initiative needed to succeed – in sports and in life.
“The goals that I set as a coach are usually just to do whatever I can to help my athletes achieve their best,” said Ben. “It rarely has to do with any specific contest or trick. The main goal is just to have fun and progress beyond what you or the athlete thought was achievable.”
Ben said that coming off an appearance at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, his goals have shifted.
“With the build up to the Olympics, there was sort of a mad rush to learn as much as possible, as fast as possible,” said Ben. “Now that the rush is over, and there isn’t the “urgency” to get that one big trick to win, it is time to get those tricks locked down and be able to land them every time.”
Ben told us that he believes personal bests and personal records are “really important” for young skiers to have.
“Pushing yourself to do better is how we progress as people and athletes,” said Ben. “With a sport like freeskiing, it is all about progression.”
Ben added that if he could encourage young skiers to focus on just one particular personal record or goal, it would be quite simple.
“Fun,” said Ben. “Having more fun today than you did yesterday. If you aren’t enjoying your sport, you are missing the point.”
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.