Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't Underestimate the Effect Sports Have on Your Child

A good friend of mine, who coached a youth baseball team of nine and ten-year-old boys, related the following story to me. It illustrates the positive effect sports can have—even on the most unlikely of children.

“A few years back, the parent of one of my former players told me about a speech her son gave as a senior in high school. Each student in the class was required to give a talk on something that had a ‘profound effect on their lives.’

It had been eight years since the boy had played for me. The boy was arguably the least athletic child on my team; however, he was the brightest and went on to win most of the academic awards at his high school as well as a college scholarship. The boy could have spoken about any of the numerous academic awards or his scholarship; but instead, he spoke of the one hit he got as a nine year old to win a key game. He also spoke about the importance of his coach believing in him to come through when substituting in a better hitter was the easier, safer choice.

I was obviously warmed to hear that a coaching decision of mine had such a positive impact on this child. But I was also struck by the fact that the child you think is least influenced by sports is the one that carries their effect with them forever.”

Whether your child is a star athlete, beginning player, or a struggling, non-athletic boy or girl, you should recognize that sports often play a significant role in his or her life. In the above example, a boy unaccustomed to athletic success found his heroic moment and held it close to his heart. Regardless of your child’s apparent abilities, believe in your child and support his or her interest in sports.