When your child shows real talent on the field, you may dream of athletic scholarships and careers in pro sports. Your young one may have a real chance at accomplishing that dream, but it takes a lot of sacrifice and determination to reach each goal on that way to that end. Before you turn your child over to trainers and coaches, make sure that you’re ready to provide what it takes on your end.
Financial and Time Investments
Most young athletes get their start in summer teams and camps, high school teams, club teams, and eventually college. Private and group lessons may also be part of this training. All of these experiences require significant financial and time investments from the parents. If you’re not ready to sacrifice family time (including weekends and holidays) and a chunk of your budget all year, then pro-sports may not be a realistic goal for your daughter or son.
Make sure you have realistic goals. Can your son or daughter stick with a rigorous training schedule and stick to healthy training habits? Does he or she have the discipline to study and train without giving in to common youthful distractions? Even if your youngster loves to play and shows true talent, discipline and grit are required for success with pro teams; your child may not want to go pro as much as enjoy the game in his or her free time.
Of course, your role as a parent is crucial to your child’s success. Plan to be a fan at all of the games, rain or shine,) offering positive feedback, encouragement, and accountability. Remember to instill respect for the coaches, referees, and opposing teams. When things go wrong, help your young athlete take responsibility for mistakes. Although you want your child to look for ways to improve, you need to resist the temptation to criticize. When a correction is necessary, focus on improving skills not on making scores.
Your young athlete needs to prepare for college as well as training for her or his preferred sport. Professional scouts visit colleges to find new talent. This means that grades and test scores need to be high enough for your young athlete to make it into colleges or universities with goo sports programs. In addition to consistent grades, athletes need good eyesight, quick reflexes, and great coordination. Your daughter or son should recognize the value of academics, positive health habits, and repetitive training.
Don’t forget to have a backup career in mind. Athletes may sustain injuries at any time that permanently derail their plans for a professional on the field or court. Even if your son or daughter doesn’t get injured, many professional athletes retire when they are pretty young, so it’s important to have career goals. There are plenty of careers within the sports arena, including scouts, coaches and fitness trainers, sports announcers, and public speaking. Factor these studies into the costs of raising a pro athlete.
The End Goal
If you’re dreaming of professional sports careers for your daughter or son, remember that there’s a lot of sacrifice and investment required for a shot at something that is extremely competitive. Along the way, instill a love for the game, positive character-building, and well-rounded academic success.