Helping a sport parent
The toughest thing in modern society about being a SPORT parent.
By Zuriel Lozano international goalkeeper coach MS Sport & health science. Speaker, mental coach.
The search for perfection, being popular or number 1, the pressure of being the best, TOP athlete, in the best college, the need for bragging rights, pride and FAME is literally driving many parents & young athletes insane today. Millions of parents do not even realize they are caught up in a vicious cycle, or perhaps they simply choose to ignore it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with working hard at something and improving. In fact, being the best at what you do is what we all should strive for. However, why do you want to be the best? What is the real reason?
I have trained thousands of goalkeepers worldwide to include here in the US. But there is something that has caught my attention, the most talented & skillful goalkeepers & field soccer players are the one who struggle the most mentally, specially when things get really tough. Those are the one who show up at a Division 1 universities or any college and normally quit in their Sophomore year.
“When you are real or authentic instead of chasing fame & popularity, only then you will find happiness.”
The reason why many young athletes quit their sport early in their careers is NOT because they hate their sports, it has to do more with the toxic club environment, and all the politics involved in it. Kids get lost in the numbers of players or some coaches simply do not like certain kids because they are not as good.
Of course, there are other reason kids quit such as they simply want to try new things or they just never wanted to play sports in the first place.
However, the biggest problem we see today is that young athletes are NOT equipped to handle FAILURES. In other words, they are NOT taught to get up when they fall flat on their faces. Kids are not mentally prepared to deal with tough moments in life & sports.
There are millions of parents who refuse to believe in one simple concept –their child does NOT have to be good or the best at everything. Today, the new generation of parents think of FAILURE & DEFEAT as a bad thing. These parents would overprotect kids as much as they can to keep them from struggling or getting their feelings hurt. For example, trophies & certificates of participation.
Today our society is saturated with the idea that the RICH & FAMOUS are the happiest people on earth. We are also brainwashed to believe that if we if go to certain schools, gain certain degrees or be part of a certain team then you will be happier & recognized by others. Sadly all of these things are only temporary.
“Sooner or later overprotected kids will face struggle, and they will not know how to defend themselves.”
Telling a young kid to understand that you will SUCK at something, it’s tough. However, if parents can at least train or teach their kids in sports to embrace struggle & challenges. Only then young athletes will flourish in times of struggle.
But kids will NOT improve on their own Parents have to make a decision to stop overprotecting them and teach them to see the world realistically instead of idealistically.