Don't let your athlete skip the struggle

By Janis Meredith | Posted 2/23/2017

Are your kids in a struggle right now in sports?

When my kids were playing sports in high school, I remember sharing my frustration with a friend. It was hard watching them struggle through their challenges.

My friend wisely commented, “The strongest kids I’ve seen are the ones who things don’t come to easily. The ones who have to fight for playing time, a spot on the team, or even just to improve, are the ones who in the end are the strongest people.”

I clung to those words a lot as my kids played sports. And now that they are young adults, I see the fruit of their struggle. If they’d skipped those struggles, they wouldn’t have developed into strong, determined adults. Your kids need to struggle in order to learn how to fly.

If you’re tempted to jump into your child’s struggle and try to fix it, let these things hold you back:

  • Your child needs to learn how to problem-solve without your constant help. This is a skill he must develop because he will need it a lot as an adult.
  • Your child needs to learn how to resolve conflict with others. If you keep fixing things for him, he won’t have a chance to learn this.
  • Your child needs to learn persistence. He will need it as a spouse, parent, and employee/employer. You do not want to raise a kick who tucks his tail and runs at the first sign of a struggle.

Parents, stop smoothing the path in front of your child. I fear that if you do, you may not like the person your child grows up to be. Don’t let him skip the struggle!


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Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called Her new book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.