Here is the second part of the two-part blog series addressing the parent of the high school athlete.
If you missed the first part of the blog addressing the high school athlete, check it out here.
Dear Parent of the High School Athlete,
Did you know that 7% of high school athletes go on to play college sports?
Did you also know that less than 2% of high school athletes go on to play Division 1?
I have one more.
Did you know that less than 2 percent of college athletes go on to professional sports?
That means a whole lot of high school and college athletes go on to be a professional in something other than sports.
As a parent, it’s important to push your kids, challenge them to do their best and help guide them.
It’s also important to let them be kids, learn from their own mistakes and take responsibility for their own actions.
Here are some lessons for you.
You are not the coach.
You are a parent and as a parent you want the best for your kid. Of course you want them to be the star player and succeed at a high level. Not everyone can be the star though. Not everyone has the ability to play at the next level.
Your coach is the coach for a reason. Just because you played high school or college sports and would do things differently doesn’t mean your way is better.
The coach of your child has the team’s best interests in hand. They are committed, put countless hours in and try to make every player better. Sometimes this means your kid doesn’t get much playing time.
Instead of confronting the coach about playing time, let your kid learn. Allow them to get better, work harder and be a great teammate.
It will serve them better in the long run. They are going to get some bad grades, be turned down for jobs and promotions and have bad days. That’s life. They will be better for facing adversity and having to persevere. If you fight all their battles for them now, how are they going to be able to handle themselves in the real world?
You set the example.
Every action you take, you are setting the example.
If you swear at a ballgame, some little kid may hear it.
If you continually gossip and badmouth the coach because your kid isn’t playing, some other parent is going to hear it.
If you holler at the umpires or get into an argument with the coach after the game, what are you doing? Take a look in the mirror.
It’s time to start being an adult.
Support your kid. Support their team. Set the example of being a good, supportive parent.
Your child has almost no chance of becoming a professional athlete.
It’s time to face the facts. Your kid has very little chance of becoming a professional athlete.
High school sports teach valuable lessons. Teamwork, competition, commitment, perseverance and the list goes on.
It’s also just high school. If that means they are an all-conference player and they give it their all, that’s great. Push your kid to be their best but if that means they are a reserve on the baseball team and always give full effort, that’s okay too.
If your child is a reserve and wants to quit the team, don’t let them. This is a valuable lesson in commitment. If they quit now, what are they going to do at the first sign of adversity after high school?
Just because your kid is a good player doesn’t mean you should transfer to another high school for sports.
Allow your kid to be a kid and remember the whole point of high school is to allow them to learn and mature into a good, hard-working adult.
You are not the same as your child.
Just because you played baseball in high school doesn’t mean your son wants to. If they want to be part of the drama club or run track, support them. If they don’t want to play travel basketball all summer and want to get a job instead, let them.
You may think you have the best intentions for your kid but you are not them. Let them live a little, find activities they enjoy and learn lessons along the way.
Your kid is not entitled to anything.
There are only a few things in life that are guaranteed: death and taxes (and the Patriots being in the AFC Championship Game. I had to sneak that one in….).
Entitlement is a problem in today’s world. Not everyone can be the leading scorer, not everyone can be valedictorian of their class and not everyone can get into the colleges they desire.
Life isn’t easy and just because you help out with the boosters club and are actively involved in school sports, it doesn’t mean your child deserves more playing time.
Not everyone gets a trophy. That’s not the way sports work and that’s not how life works.
“Helicopter parents,” or those that take an overactive interest and essentially take over their kid’s life, are starting to ruin things, especially sports.
It’s okay to want the best for your child. That’s what every parent wants.
You have to start letting them live their life though.
Stop doing everything for them.
Let them live their lives and learn.
Urge them to embrace the challenge, make mistakes and learn from them.
If you do that, your kid will be on the path to success and more importantly, ready for life’s challenges.