In 10 Years, What Will Stay with Your Child from Playing Sports?

By Janis Meredith | Posted 2/19/2020

Are you so caught up in today that you can’t see tomorrow?

Is today’s game, this week’s frustration or this season’s battles clouding your focus that you cannot see the bigger picture of what your child should be learning from their competitive experience?

If so, chances are that you are enamored with things that will not really matter in 10 years. Awards, getting mentioned in the paper and even getting looks from college coaches—these are all awesome and part of the fun of competition. But more important are the things that will stay with your child a decade down the road.

My kids are 26, 29 and 32 and I can see the things that have stayed with them from their sports-playing days. I hear it every time they fight through hardships in their jobs or deal with relationship frustrations.  Don’t get me wrong—they still have problems and conflicts, and they may not always do the wisest thing, but because they have tools—many of which they learned playing sports— they don’t get so bogged down that they cannot recover and move forward.

What will stay with your child from their youth sports experience if you step back and let the journey be theirs?

1.     The ability to work with and do what’s best for the team, instead of only what’s best for ME.

2.     The persistence to keep working hard even when the results are not fast in coming.

3.     The fortitude to NOT quit when things get tough.

4.     The discipline to keep doing what is not easy to do.

5.     The work ethic to give their best and always bloom where they are planted.

In today’s youth sports culture, I fear that many parents are missing an opportunity to prepare their child for life because they are standing in the way of valuable lessons being learned.

If you are a parent who is a little too invested in your child’s youth sports experience and who focuses on solving their problems today, instead of thinking about tomorrow, your child is not getting the most that they could out of youth sports. In 10 years, you might wish you’d done things a bit differently.

Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at


USA Football's new model for youth football is designed to make the game safer by reducing contact and by teaching the game based on an athlete's age, the skill they are learning and game type.