Before you can help your child succeed, you must know what success for your child actually looks like.
Is it a college scholarship? Being the leading scorer on the team? Being a starter? Getting awards and recognition?
Those are achievements, no doubt. And as a parent, you should celebrate those milestones in your child’s life.
But are they really what success in sports in all about? If you believe they are, then there will be seasons when you are very disappointed. What will happen when your child doesn’t get that starting spot, that certain position on the team, that college scholarship, that mention in the paper? Will you feel they fell short of success?
I’m going to say something that you may not want to hear. Those achievements are not what success is all about; they are merely side-effects of success. Kinda like when you are warned about the side-effects of certain medications; sometimes you get those side-effects and sometimes you don’t. But the medication still does its job, with or without the side-effects.
That’s the way it is with your child’s sports success. You child can have success; sometimes there will be wonderful, flashy side-effects for your athlete (name in the paper, all-league honors, a spot on the all-star team) and sometimes there will not. But your child can be successful, with or without the side-effects.
Success will not look the same for every athlete. Maybe one of these is a huge step for your child:
- Working hard and making the team.
- Earning the respect of teammates.
- Learning how to work with a disagreeable coach.
- Seeing the importance of team work.
- Getting along with difficult teammates
- Controlling anger in the game
And the list goes on.
Too bad they don’t give out scholarships and awards for great attitudes and lessons learned. Because those are the real measures of success.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Sports are fun and can open doors for your child’s future, but nothing will ever be more important than what your child becomes in the process. The glory days will end; but the character developed while playing sports lives on. That’s the real success.