Success looks like fun from a distance. Your child sees what he wants to achieve and is determined to be successful in his sport.
I want to hit home runs like he does!
I’m gonna work until I’m as fast as her!
I will practice my shots until I can score 20 points a game!
But look a little closer. Success, it all its glory, has it’s own pitfalls. And quite honestly, there’s a right and wrong way to do success.
If your child is working hard to achieve goals, help him see the traps he can fall into even as he triumphs. Don’t let him become captive to the seduction of success.
Success Can Make Your Child Sloppy
Winners can become complacent and lazy. They get comfortable and think they are unbeatable. They can get over-confident, not taking opponents seriously. Taking wins for granted, they might not feel the need to improve and push themselves any more. They can become un-motivated.
And the result: Sloppiness.
Success Can Make Your Child Lose Sight of What’s Important
Winners may take one loss extremely hard. This happens when your child becomes so enamored with victory that he forgets what’s really important. And what’s really important is the person he is becoming in the process.
If success, just for the sake of success, is your child’s only goal, then he may have trouble learning from the mistakes that will inevitably happen along the way.
Help your kid distinguish between striving for success, just for the sake of success, and striving for success because he loves competition, loves the game, and sees the value of the process, which is to set and achieve goals, and grow stronger as a person and an athlete.
Success Can Cause Your Child to Remain Short-sighted
Kids naturally live in the here and now. Success can make that live-in-the-moment mentality even stronger. Your child feels great at the moment and figures that what he’s done today will work tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
But that’s usually not the case. Success today does not always mean success tomorrow because everything changes. The competition changes, your child’s body changes, and competitive standards change.
Experiencing success so that it does not hold you back from tomorrow means that you must always be looking for ways to improve. Remind your child of past mistakes and failures that taught him lessons which have led to his present success. If your child is not teachable, he will never reach his full potential.
Is Your Child Giddy with Success?
“Be careful that victories do not carry the seed of future defeats.”
Success is alluring, but in all honesty, it’s tough being on top. If your child is handling success the wrong way, I’m pretty sure he won’t be on top for long. But if he learns to handle it the right way, he will learn lessons from his accomplishments that will undoubtably pave the way for more success in the future.
Thanks to Matt Keller for inspiring these thoughts on Success.