Some of my best memories from high school are from my time spent as an athlete. I remember listening to Blue Clear Sky by George Strait religiously while riding with my best friend to softball practice. I remember being so exhausted the weeks we had 2-a-days that all we could do was sleep in between. I remember the accomplishment I felt once I got my spiking down in volleyball after staying late with a coach several days to work on it. To this day, I love the feeling of complete exhaustion after a workout.
My husband was twice (and probably then some) the athlete I ever was. To this day, his reflexes and how quickly he picks up almost any sport he tries still amazes me. On our honeymoon we went to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. Since we have been married we’ve played on coed softball teams and sand volleyball teams together. We thoroughly enjoy sports.
So, for several reasons (many stated above) we want and even encourage our kids to take part in sports. None of those reasons include them playing at a higher level or for them to be the super star of the team. Now, it’s not that I don’t want them to succeed. I do. But more than the destination of “success” I want them to pay attention to the work and journey they will be on to get to that destination of success.
I want them to develop life long habits of being physically active. I want them to know what it’s like to work hard at a skill in order to master it. I want them to feel that feeling of accomplishment once they do master that skill. I want them to feel the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team.
I do not, and will not, push collegiate or even professional level sports. If my kids end up playing at that level, that’s fine and I will support them in every way possible if they do. I do fear by constantly pushing that with all of our children, we have made a generation of “every one is a superstar” and forgotten that it is beneficial for kids to be just good athletes that support their team and help them where they can. When we set up those kind of expectations for each child, we set them up for disappointment because not every one can be the all star.
Last point of this blog: if you really want to make sure your kid gets into college on scholarship push ACADEMICS! It’s really not even comparable the amount of academic scholarships you can get to the amount of athletic scholarships.