“You’ll Never Make It”

The cost of being a child.

Sports professionals have often debated youth sports and the role parents have on their child’s involvement in them. They have focused on the parent wanting to live vicariously through their child and are unacceptable of anything but their child being the best. They have focused on the parental desire for their child to get a Division I scholarship and how they will invest in anything they can to get their child to that level.

What if parents do not want their child to be successful? What if parents do not want their children to become better athletes than they were? Now, I know that seems critical and harsh, but think about it. Not all parents are going to be selfless and want to do anything for their child. I was fortunate enough to have the parents who would drop anything for me if it made me happy, but I know others who were not like that.

Think about it. A parent was an incredible student athlete in college or a talented and well respected professional athlete. What if they could never get this idea of themselves out of their minds? What if they can never look beyond how great they were and realize that that was the past and their child’s talent is the present.

I know one parent that fits this example. He is currently a retired professional athlete embracing the retired life by living on a golf course. When his child was growing up he never gave him positive feedback. He constantly said to his child that he would never amount to anything and that he was not going to fulfill his dreams. He told him he would never make it as a college athlete, and never get the chance to play professional. When his child did receive a full ride scholarship at a Division I school, he refused to attend most of the games. He did not really care about the success of his son as he pursued his dreams. Instead, he continued to tell him that he would never make it and never get the chance to make his dreams come true. When his son was drafted, he showed no change in heart. He told him he would never make it out of the minor leagues and when he did, he refused to attend his first professional game. He was not there to be a part of something because he did not want to see his son’s dreams come true. He wanted to be the only one in the family who had this dream come true and refused to support his son in their private lives unless it was convenient for him.

Now, this is just one example and I do not have another. I am in the process of researching this darker side of sports and family roles within it, but until then here is a story to think about.

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