Plenty of parents want their child to play sports, and some kids even excel. And anyone who hangs around long enough knows that parents of Olympic level athletes share a common story of early morning practices, and the dedication shared by the family.
I heard the best commitment strategy idea for aspiring young athletes who start the challenging but important early morning training schedule of their chosen sport.
“Wake me up to get you to practice.”
Let the young athlete set the alarm, climb out of bed, and perhaps even get the coffee brewing. Let the young athlete get their gear together and fuel up with a smart breakfast. When the young athlete is ready, wake up dad or mom.
Let the young athlete own the commitment, and the parent can support them.
Every sport parent knows about the early morning routine. It’s a chore made worse by the fact that we feel we’re more committed to success than our children. We’ll defend it in the context of ‘helping them succeed’, but in reality we’re protecting them from the consequences of their lack of commitment—the disappointed coach; the weaker performance; the missed victory; the frustrated team.
I don’t think it applies to all situations, and certainly requires an advanced level of athletic performance and success. This is only for the athlete who chooses intensity.
Parents of athletes don’t always know where to draw the line between a child’s activity and a parent’s activity. It’s easy to see situations where the commitment to winning is more important to the adult. This switches it around and gives the sport—and all the effort required to win—back to the athlete.