Preparing Our Youth
Young athletes tend to go through multiple phases throughout their childhood. They struggle deciding which sport to play, what genre of music they like, who their best friends are, and the style of clothes they want to wear. Most parents sit back, watch, and pray for the best. This is the normal for some parents and most are happy with it. While those parents that are watching their kids grow and become adults, other parents are molding and preparing their athletes for what's next.
Now, the idea of molding and preparing isn't forcing your kid to do certain things and punishing them if they don't like a certain sport or team. The idea is that you prepare the young athlete with the time and effort necessary to give them the best chance to succeed. Let them decide if they want the helmet, batting glove, knee pad, shin guard, or new pair of Kobe's. It is up to the parents to help them succeed at each sport the athlete may choose. The amount of time and effort a parent puts into the child can be the difference in playing at the next level or sitting in the house watching cartoons. The time and effort is a very small price to pay for the value the kid receives in potential scholarships, life lessons, character building, and relationships.
Most parents usually have the excuse of not having enough time or resources for sports year round. Why? Time doesn't cost a thing, it is absolutely free. One hour a night of rebounding shots, catching passes, or returning serves will without a doubt make your child better at no cost! During these times it often builds a great bond between parent and athlete. This alone is priceless. Seeing the child grow and build confidence with each hour spent working hard is astonishing.
Okay, so maybe some parents have crazy schedules and really don't have enough time every night. Somewhere out there is a coach or trainer who does. Sure this adds another expense to your budget, but the end result is always worth the money spent. Look up the background of players in the NCAA, a high percentage of those athletes have personal trainers, strength coaches, or skill coaches at the high school and youth levels. A lot of times these coaches will discount prices just to see a player succeed and develop into an amazing person. Some may even do it for free depending on the situation. The point is that somebody out there is willing to help, there just might be a few steps to find them.
What it all comes down to is, what are you as a parent doing to prepare your young athlete(s) for a bright future? Putting in the time, effort, and resources for your child will help determine their future path in life. From a coaches perspective, seeing a child grow and develop into an elite level athlete knowing that his/her parents are doing everything they can to help them is one of the most amazing things to witness in this world. When the kid is smiling ear to ear signing their scholarship, it will all be worth it.