Mountain-Biking-Santa-Cruz-Los-GatosEmbracing failure and facing your fears are some of the most valuable skills a child can learn. But it’s hard to learn these skills if you’re not in the right environment. In fact, being in the wrong environment may actually inhibit your child’s ability to develop these essential interpersonal skills.

Team sports build a strong foundation – they teach us to work well with others, how to take accountability for our actions, and how to commit to a schedule. However, sometimes team sports tend to teach our children that failure is not an option or is an adverse side affect of laziness. Some children are even discouraged from speaking their mind or providing their input due to fear: fear of rejection or fear of failure.

There is an alternative.

Riding a mountain bike is an independent experience – it’s just you, your bike, and the trail.

In order to just get down the mountain you have to learn to treat fear as motivation. You’ll face a number of jumps, bumps, and berms, but after reaching the end of the trail, you will know that it’s you that crossed the finish line. You can’t rely on the superstar player to carry you to victory.

Just like in school, and in life, if you face hiccups in the road with fear, you won’t make progress. You have to learn to use fear as a motivator in order to reach your full potential.

You’ll fail from time to time. But every single time you get back on the bike, you learn something about yourself. You learn that you can overcome. You learn that you can embrace failure to push yourself harder than you ever thought you could. You learn that failure holds the key to some of the most important things you will ever learn.

These are the things that we teach our campers. It’s amazing to see how much our camps influence children is their everyday lives. The shy ones come out of their shells, the cocky ones are humbled. We see more confidence built in a week than most people see in their lives.

Give the gift of confidence.

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