I remember a good golfer ribbing and pushing his son, who was surely destined to be a good pro golfer one day, so much that the child gave up playing altogether. Indeed in later life they are disconnected from each other. Tok
Oh my word Mike that is a very tender SPOT I heartily agree with your comment, it sometimes an embarrassing disgrace to see SOME parents behaving on the sideline of a sportsfield or swimming pool. there is nothing better than a bunch of parents quietly enjoying and supporting their children at school functions. Our children sadly had to go to boarding school, no choice, and we were not able to attend many functions, when we did, what fun it was with wonderful good competitive spirit. Why does this have to change.
We agree with you 100%. Well done for reminding us all encourage our kids to challenge themselves (not others) and to shine whenever they are ready. Regards Arlette
Interesting take on parental push for sporting excellence. It would be useful to balance this view with some perspective on how much it took to support the success stories. Of course we now have the benefit of many biographies to get the view from those kids that were pushed hardest. I make no distinction between sports and academics on this one. The jury is out on how hard one can push but I take my hat off to those folks that struck that largely elusive balance between pushing too hard and just hard enough!! And of cause got the results they sought without alienating the kids totally! I know few parents who are comfortable with being compared to Andre Agassi's old man, for example! Otherwise luckily for most sporting codes coaches these days offer different training packages for different end results. The good coaches also give honest advise on the potential of athletes! Tough call! Vitalis
Yes agree with you it is our Kids life and we should not Thrust our dreams upon them, encourage them yes especially if they are talented and excel in their chosen field, do your best to give them every opportunity to achieve their goals and wish them luck. As a Parent I feel you would have done your duty and your children will appreciate your Support more than pushing them to excel. Athena
Children growing up now are faced with too many pressures which we did not have back in the day, yes we want mini 'Kirsty's' but truth be told they develop and excel at their own pace. The poor kids have this notion that they must do it like this, they must do it like that and true back in the day we as parents never did things as we want it laid out. Please understand, I'm not putting down parents who push their kids hard but when kids fail to reach up to our dreams, we only end up with broken dreams and lots of emotional patch ups.... My son showed talent in soccer from six years old, my dreams were that he excels to professional levels.....his becoming an engineer and taking up law, works at night as a bar tender to make his extra money, I'm glad I never went the soccer route...he discovered his niche all on his own..
I thought this book I found explained it well (See attachments) . Applies to parents and well as coaches. Regards Jill.
You're absolutely right Mike. I *hated* school sports. I would never, ever push my son to participate in a sporting activity if he didn't want to. The enormous pressure on children to participate in physical competitive activities is unbelievable. I will never understand it. What is the point of it? Why are we so obsessed with our children physically proving they're better than everyone else? And what about those kids who don't come in the top three? How do they feel? How does it affect them, when so much value is placed on succeeding and being better than everyone, and then they're not? What emotional turmoil does that leave them with? My child is so much more than his ability to kick, hit or throw a ball. If only we valued compassion and kindness and individuality as much as we valued being better than someone else. This world, let alone this country, would be a much different place. I endeavour to teach my child that everyone is equal in their value, that there are real world issues that deserve his energy more than bettering someone physically. Perhaps if our children were valued for their unique abilities as individuals from a young age, they wouldn't feel so tempted by turning to excessive alcohol consumption and prescription drugs as teenagers and adults as a coping mechanism to deal with not being who and what everyone has expected them to be their entire lives. Sick of Competition
I concur. Encourage them and let them find their own way. I always make sure I attend my little girl’s sporting events and support her to the max. Like you, my parent’s never came to watch me play any of my sports, especially in the latter years. So I make sure that I never miss a single one. Cheers, Kumbi
Couldn’t agree more. Most good teachers (and parents) will pick up on talent and encourage it. As an ex-high school academic teacher, who still has much contact with the teaching world, I have had the same experience with parents who do not understand that no amount of pushing and extra lessons are going to make their child into doctor/lawyer/engineer material. We’ve known kids who’ve been moved from one school to another, because they simply won’t accept this fact.
All kids need as much encouragement as possible from their parents and teachers, but they should never be pushed into a mould. Many kids only realize their potential after they’ve left school, even when they’re lucky enough to make it to university. As a mother of a daughter who was in various sports teams, I used to have to block my ears sometimes when sitting next to these screaming mothers.
Kids can suffer serious self-esteem problems in later life if they don’t match up to their parents’ unrealistic expectations.
Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery nicely put Mike J Bravo. Panagis from Athens
I was chatting to a well-known sports coach recently about how hard some parents push their kids. They tell her that they want their daughter to be like Kirsty Coventry or their son like Mark Phelps. They pass comments like: “Little Steph is now swimming 10 km a day and she almost broke Kirsty’s Under 12 Backstroke Record last month” . She said that it was often Moms and Dads that had never been successful at sport in their schooldays
The poor kids don’t have time to experience those things that really matter when growing up.
I don’t remember either of my folks ever coming along to watch me play sport at Junior school and there were hardly ever any parents watching us guys in the B and C teams. Then I was packed off to boarding school for my secondary education and told to work things out for myself.
I now look back at some of my peers that were all making the provincial teams with moms and dads screaming at them from the side lines throughout their school sports careers.
Most of them gave up exercise altogether once they were out of home in “the real world”.
My feeling is that you should encourage your kids regularly but remember that it is their life and we, as parents , are not there to thrust our dreams on our children.
What are your thoughts on the matter?