Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Are Sports Your Passion or Your Child’s?

One of life’s most fulfilling aspects is finding an activity for which you have a passion. Whether it’s sports, music, art, science, or any of the other countless areas of human endeavor, discovering an area in which you’re both passionate and capable represents found treasure. If your passion is sports, it’s natural that you want your child to experience the same joy. Unfortunately, parents can mistakenly believe that their child has the same enthusiasm for a sport, or sports in general, that they do. Instead of pushing your passion onto your child, simply provide the opportunity to participate and give words of encouragement.

Growing up, I was fortunate to have parents that provided me with every opportunity to play a variety of sports. Throwing a baseball or football around with my Dad, enjoying pickup games in backyards, playing Little League baseball and football, earning varsity letters in multiple high school sports, and playing a year of college basketball were all meaningful parts of my young life. My parents possessed the good sense not to force any sport on me. They simply provided the basic equipment, car rides to and from my youth league practices and games, words of encouragement and small doses of constructive criticism.

Should your child desire not to participate in a sport, make sure that the reasons are good ones and not simply based on avoiding some uncomfortable situation. A measure of success can make all of the difference as to how a child views participating in a sport. A good youth coach, individual lessons, unstructured neighborhood games, or the right words of parental encouragement are all potential gateways that can transport a child to a new world of fun and satisfaction. But in the end, despite your best efforts, the child’s true nature will prevail.

Remember that your goal is for your child to find a passion—not your passion!

Copyright 2009-2012 Jeffrey S. Rhoads; All Rights Reserved


Tammy said...

I try to balance out his interests, with things that I think are good for character and physical development. For example, my son really wanted to we started taking him to road races. He has really enjoyed them, and has excelled in the sport. He still wrestles, which has not been his favorite sport. However, it keeps him in shape, and he enjoys it when he wins a match!

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