Do you want to win more than your child?

13 Aug

Many parents have to stop and ask themselves, who wants to win more in sports competitions?  Me, or my child?  If you google parent struggles with children and sports you will be amazed at how many write ups are posted with the common denominator being how parents are ruining sports for children.  While most everyone of us wants to win in life and become a great success, research has shown time and time again that today’s method of parent/coaching is killing any motivation for children to be successful in sports.

Being the recipient of a college scholarship in athletics, I feel like I might know a thing or two when it comes to hard work, competition, and what it takes to achieve that athletic scholarship.  One thing I know to be true is it must come from within. You can force your child to do what ultimately you wish you had done…this seems to be the big thing these days, people wanting to relive their own lives through their child, but ultimately this will backfire.

Growing up, I was the observer of a sister and brother who were both incredibly successful tennis players.  They went on to obtain scholarships at top schools as well.  By the time it came down to me, my parents were burnt out.  They saw my passion for tennis wasn’t there and while they tried to get me involved initially, they could tell that tennis was not for me and rather than waste more time and money, they decided that I would either explore other avenues or maybe sports weren’t for me.  After all, maybe it was expecting too much for all 3 of their children to get athletic scholarships?

As it turned out, we did all 3 receive athletic scholarships, and this is why I know it comes from within and if your child wants it bad enough, it will happen.  When my parents checked out, something sparked within me.  I had such a drive and motivation to find something in sports that I would be great at, and then it happened on one crisp Spring day on the track. Turns out, the high jump was what I excelled at and had an incredible amount of passion and drive for.

So parent’s, my advice to you is let your children explore different sports.  Don’t force them to live out your dreams, but rather their own.  My parent’s gave me the option to do whatever I wanted in athletics and I soared very high.  Let’s instill a positive approach with free will at the forefront and see how far your children will go!  As long as they are involved in some type of physical activity, they are already ahead of the game.  Our goal is to keep them in sports, not drive them away.

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