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What Makes the Parent of a Champion, the Parent of a Champion?

Last year I watched a show about Olympic parents, and I wondered, would they all be hard-driving parents?  Were they super competitive? What did they do to help their child achieve championship status? Their answers were not really what I’d expected, but they most definitely made me smile. These are the thoughts that their sports parent behavior broadcast loud and clear:

You help your child become a champion by being supportive, not pushy.

You’ve seen pushy parents, the ones who always speak for their children, demand a lot from their children, and insist on pushing their kids to perform and work hard. If you are one of those parents, I have news for you: that attitude will not make your child a champion. In fact, it may even backfire and push your child away from sports.

You help your child become a champion by providing opportunities for your child to be challenged and express creativity.

Many parents of champions make sacrifices so their kids can have opportunities to develop their skills. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy choice, but when your child is driven, skilled and you sense in your heart as these parents did that he or she would go far, then giving them those opportunities is important. That has definitely got to be a decision each champion’s family takes very seriously.

You cannot MAKE your child become a champion.

This is the message that spoke the loudest to me. Every one of those Olympic parents said that they didn’t teach their kids to have passion. Each one was born with the drive as part of his or her DNA. You can nurture passion by providing opportunities for it to grow, but you cannot instill passion. Your child has to come up with that all on his or her own. Your child may never be an Olympic Champion or even a D-1 or professional champion, but he or she can still be a Champion. One of the definitions of champion is fighter or warrior, and that is something your child can do every time he or she steps into the game.

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