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Parents play a role...

Posted by Ericha_eteamz on Sep 21, 2006 4:08:59 PM


Eric's post got me thinking of when I was a youngster...tearing through my Grimm's Book of Fairytales; Which I admit I still have and flip through every time I move and have to unpack my bookshelf. J  The book was my mothers so as you can imagine it's seen better days.  It���s now quite tattered and aged; well loved I like to say.  Those seemed to be much simpler times; summers were great since the sun didn���t go down until 8 pm which meant we could play football in the street with the neighbors a few hours longer.  Now summers come and go and I seemed to have missed them?!  But I digress���<o:p> </o:p>



For years we've supported the educational value of athletics - the development of teamwork, sportsmanship, cooperation, competition, work ethic, and more.  Of course we can learn these values doing/participating in other things however for the sake of this article and for the fact that I work for eteamz I will agree.  However, there have been several instances over the last few years that have made me think long and hard about this theory and the role of parents here.   I���m sure you all recall the most recent story of the father who rushed a football field to tackle a player that hit his child late - after the ball hit the ground.  I was horrified when I saw the footage���But he was far from the worst sports parent ever. Oh no the honor is shared by several infamous lunatics:



  • Christophe 
    Fauviau, a Frenchman convicted of poisoning his children's tennis rivals with an 
    antianxiety drug. One drugged opponent fell asleep at the wheel of his car and 
    died; and


  • Thomas 
    Junta, who killed a fellow hockey dad after a fight during their sons' 


Overbearing adults aren't a new thing, especially where fame and fortune are at stake.  Still, it's hard in a world where athletes become not only super-famous, but extraordinarily wealthy. We dream of that for our own kids, especially if they show some talent. This dream can be dangerous. Having outsized expectations and applying too much pressure are two big mistakes parents can make. It���s natural for kids to want to grow up and be super stars.  Doesn���t every kid?  But the reality is that most won't grow up to be professional athletes. Most won't even earn college sports scholarships.  So finding the balance between healthy support vs. an unhealthy obsession is crucial.  Otherwise we aim to lose those core values we as parents work so hard to instill in our children.  We as parents end up being the cause of our misbehaving or unbalanced child.   



So what should parents do?  I say find balance between teaching children to embrace the journey and maintaining a competitive spirit.  Instead of focusing on the trophies, ribbons, and scholarships focus more on the fun and the skill-development aspects of the sport and let go of the pressure to win.  Make sure your kids are having fun; Don't project your dreams onto your child; Be realistic, remembering the goals are fun and fitness first; and don't push your kids too early, and don't push them to do sports that interest you.  Seems easy enough.  Let kids be kids with healthy guidance and support.



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