For Parents

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Parenting An Athlete



Our Goal – A great situation for the athletes, the coaches and the parents.


How is the back to school, new activities schedule for you and the kids working out? In other words, how much of your life is spent behind the wheel of your car?


Let’s get to work.


I am excited about something that I am going to present to you next week. I think it is going to have an impact on you and your children. Comments about it will be greatly appreciated. This is a tease.





Is okay. We learn from our struggles and to be shielded from struggles I don’t think is a good thing for kids. I think that part of growing and maturing is learning to accept struggles as part of life but more importantly is how to handle the struggles.


To be honest with you, I see a lot of athletes who aren’t equipped to handle struggles. As soon as things get a little tough they cave in. They give up. (I hate that) I see some athletes loving a sport one week, then it gets a little tough as they struggle, and then they quit the sport they really liked. That isn’t a good pattern for life.


We can overcome struggles. We need to identify the important things in our lives and fight for them when the struggles appear and they WILL appear.


So help your athlete, child, learn to face challenges head on rather than avoid struggles and move on to another sport or area. Life isn’t easy. Some parents are trying to make childhood as easy as possible for their kids. Is that preparing them for later? No, I don’t want to pressure the kids or stress them out but there is a middle ground where we “learn” from struggles rather than being beaten down by them.


Being Appreciated



Want your children to appreciate you more? Don’t do so much for them. When parents do too much the kids will take you for granted. They will eventually appreciate you after they have been on their own and see how hard it is to make it in this world.


They will appreciate cable more when they have to pay for it each month. They will appreciate a good meal more when they have to fix their own more often. They will appreciate your companionship more when they are off to college and you aren’t there as much. They will appreciate money when they don’t have the “parent ATM” that they can tap whenever they need something.


So don’t be so available. So don’t do so many things for them that they can do for themselves. So don’t buy them those jeans and make them use their own money if they really want them. So have them make dinner when they are 12, all by themselves like you do. (The food just appears on the table when you make it. But when they have to do it themselves they will find out that it is an hour process at least) (and after working so hard they may realize how nice it is for someone to compliment the cook on the meal)


Let them experience a little bit about how things work. They shouldn’t be “guests” all of the time.


Every Athlete Is Learning



There are stars on every team. There are pretty good athletes on every team and then there are those that may not fit into the other 2 categories. But the bottom line is that every athlete is learning. Every athlete is benefiting, even if they aren’t winning all of the awards or being highlighted. Sports are not about winning and are not about being the best all of the time. If that was the case only a fraction of the kids would be in sports.


Not everyone can be a star. Sorry, they just didn’t get the genes to be a star in everything they want to do. (too bad for those kids who didn’t get the best genes from their parents) (whoops)


Not everyone can be the best salesperson. The best at algebra. The best at bicycle riding. But they can all strive to be the best that they can be. In coaching gymnastics I was sometimes amazed at some of the girls who got 90% out of their potential ability while other gymnasts only got 60% out of their potential. Some of the girls who got 60% out of their potential were the stars on the team because they had better genes for gymnastics. But as a coach I was more proud of the gymnasts who got 90% out of their potential and may not have won as many awards.


Every athlete is an individual who is gaining from the sports experiences.





As you parent, one of the most important things you can do is develop a relationship with your child for “talking.” Not lecturing as if it is your word and they just listen. But a relationship where they listen to you and respond as if there is a discussion going on. Yes, we know more than they do. Yes, we have made the mistakes that we don’t want them to make. Yes, they would be better off doing exactly what we tell them. But ………………..


They will be better off if we create a relationship where we can discuss things. Life has changed. Life is going faster. The kids are exposed to so much more and so much earlier that we had better change the pattern of parenting that even our parents used. Let’s face it, we learned some parenting techniques from our parents. If you learned a little about parenting when you were 10 years old, how old are those techniques? If you are 35 now those techniques are now 25 years old.


Heck, people were still using typewriters back then.


Parenting style today is very different than it has ever been. We had better face up to that fact. The newsletter next week may help a little with “Parenting Today.”


What The Kids Learn When:



They see so much “skin” in commercials. When they hear some of the lyrics in music today. When they see Brittany, Lindsay and Paris. When they get in the back seat of a 2007 Mustang convertible with their 16 year old friends. When they go to a party and ………………………


I don’t want to know what they are learning.


Weekly Words To The Kids



This is going to be an area that is included in most newsletters. These are my words to your kids. Share them with them if you want. Tell them “Tom” said this or that. Use me to your advantage. (I don’t mind being the bad guy sometimes)


Hey kids – think about this – “Your parents are there to help you.”



Have a great week,