Raising a Champion

Mohammad, MaryLou, Michael, Billy Jean, Lance, Shawn, Lindsey, Venus, Troy, Tiger, Mia. Champions.

cham·pi·on (chmp-n)
1. One that wins first place or first prize in a competition.
2. One that is clearly superior or has the attributes of a winner

When you watch your child on the field, court or pool, it’s easy to drift into sparkling dreams of district all-star, state championship MVP trophies, college scholarships, bowl rings, gold medals, pro signing bonus’, sponsor contracts and their first name having instant recognition. We hope, want, maybe, even expect our children to stand out and be recognized above others. We want to raise a champion; those who win first place or the highest prize in a competition.

We may go into overdrive planning how to provide our kid with the best coaching and training facilities and exert tremendous emotional energy towards “motivating” them to become a champion. The premise is that if our kid works hard enough, they could get a spot on the travel team and one day get that scholarship or be the next multi-million dollar player. Is that true? If a child practices early enough, hard enough, wants it bad enough, will they be the one who wins first place or the highest prize in a competition?

What if we shifted the goal to the second definition of champion: one that is clearly superior or has the attributes of a winner? What if we defined a champion as one who takes their physical, mental, emotional strengths and makes them as superior as possible, becoming a winner by challenging personal abilities and maximizing their individual potential to as high a level as they can attain?

If we define the goal for our children as helping them become all they are designed to become and making the absolute most of the abilities they have, then couldn’t we all raise a champion?

What are your child’s greatest strengths and how are you maximizing them?

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. –Anna Quindlen (not an athlete, but an American author and journalist)