Child geniuses are born that way, right? It's in their superior DNA and their destiny of success is mapped out before them, right? Wrong. As intelligent as child prodigies such as Beethoven or Tiger Woods might be, their fates were only sealed after hour upon hour of practice at their chosen fields.
The 10,000 hours of practice rule that leads to musical or sporting perfection has been proved and it's clear that repetition and practice are key to achieving greatness and breeding confidence at the same time. One dad in North Yorkshire has taken this method and applied it to developing his own son's skills with frightening results.
How many two year olds do you know who can strike a football against a goalpost with unerring accuracy, time after time? How many toddlers do you know who can chip a golf ball into a hole as if it's second nature to him? No, me neither. Until Diddy, that is.
Dad and P.E. teacher Stuart Owen began putting on football sessions for his son purely for his sons's enjoyment but was intrigued by the progress he was making, "After a while I was amazed at how much he enjoyed it and how he would succeed with progressively harder challenges. I decided to capture some of our sessions on video for our own memories so we could look back on them like every other family. I started to watch the clips after work and realised that there was something more here than I first thought. We were both having fun and Diddy was learning really fast. We were both benefitting from the experience in so many ways. After encouragement from others I decided to make the clips public just to show that anyone could help their kids become great."
He is an intelligent and capable boy but he is not a prodigy
You could liken him to the Tiger Mums who program their offspring with strict teaching methods but Stuart doesn't put pressure on Diddy to hone his skills. If anything it's the other way around, "I wouldn't do it if he didn't enjoy what we do. I try and make it enjoyable and fun as I think that's the best environment for learning. Through my background in teaching and physical education I have seen activity levels decline over the years with many children arriving at Primary and Secondary school physically illiterate. Being physically active as a child helped me with my schooling and gave me self-esteem and confidence. I hope the video clips will help parents have fun with their young children and teach them to play sport."
Now Diddy is playing football, cricket, golf, volleyball, basketball, tennis, rugby and badminton and looks every inch a future champion in all of them but Stuart is quick to stress that he's not the pushy parent that everyone may think, "He is an intelligent and capable boy but he is not a prodigy . . . we just spent a bit of time on each sport, and played a few minutes each day. Normal kids with the right environment can do extraordinary things and have fun doing it with their family."
Follow Stuart and Diddy's progress on Twitter @howtocoachdiddy
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