I’ve been glued to the TV watching a good deal of the Summer Olympics and I hope a lot of parents are doing the same with their kids.
I can’t think of a better way to let them see what true dedication is all about. We kind of get lost in this world of football, basketball and baseball when there’s a whole world of athletes out there pushing themselves in so many other wonderful sports.
We’ve been pre programmed to accept what happens and “get’em next week” if we don’t win. But when you see a runner like Lolo Jones, favored to win her hurdles event, having trained for four years and leading with two hurdles to go when she hits the hurdle, almost falls and loses any chance at a medal, your heart breaks. She lies there on the track in shock knowing that at the age of 30 she’d probably never have another chance to win an Olympic medal.
All that training and dedication gone in a flash. But the lesson wasn’t over, because she picked herself up and walked over to do a TV interview where she conducted herself with class and dignity. Later they got a camera shot of her crying in the tunnel way beneath the stadium, but that was private.
Sports is a vehicle to teach youngests how to cope with real life issues. Don’t ever deny them that privilege and, as a coach, remember that you have a powerful hand in shaping that life.