How champions are made on and off the field.
As a former professional athlete, there are few things that I enjoy more than watching my kids play sports. I love everything from watching them practice to cheering them on at a game.
I love to see their confidence
build with a great play and their unselfishness displayed with a great pass. However, unlike when I was in the NFL, there is one thing that I care very little about: winning and losing. Don’t get me wrong. I love to see my kids succeed. But in sports, success is measured too often by the scoreboard and not by lessons learned within competition.
I’m a father of seven who encourages my kids to participate in as many different activities as possible. Why? Because kids should spend their childhood being kids! They should be having fun. They should be developing skills and learning the many lessons that sports can teach them about life.
Youth sports should be less about becoming a pro and more about encouraging kids to be all they can be.
I think back to the years of organized athletics I’ve played and how they helped me develop into the person I am today. I learned work ethic, leadership, teamwork, commitment and dealing humbly and success to gracefully with defeat. In many ways,the man I am today is because of the lessons I was taught in and through sports.I see sports as a microcosm of life. And although we have been told many times to “never say never or always,” having lived a lot of life, I disagree.
Success is NEVER based upon just one person.
There are ALWAYS challenges and opposition that must be overcome. NEVER does a day go by without a chance to get better today than you were yesterday. And there is ALWAYS a lesson to be learned or an opportunity to be seized that can help us come closer to the person God created us to be. This is exactly why I encourage all of my kids to play sports. I realize that each sport develops different physical skills, as well as different life lessons. But with each situation, we learn how to better deal with the challenges of life.
I want them to grow up as strong and healthy young men and women
. And, if they happen to make it to the pros and it’s what they want to do, great! I promise you, there is one thing you will NEVER hear me say, “If you want to get to the pros, you can’t or you must.” However, you will always hear me say,
“Whatever you do, do it with all your heart as if working for the Lord.”I believe with this approach, I will always win.
I will be the proud father with the smile on my face after every game, win or lose. And I will be the proud father with the smile on my face. As I watch my kids become the people I have always dreamed of them becoming, with the ability to meet and overcome any obstacle that stands in their way.
Dads, if there is one thing that you can do for your son or daughter
that will pay bigger dividends than any other, it’s to encourage them not to be the best athlete. But to be the best person that they can be. I think you’ll be surprised, because often times by getting the best person, we naturally get the best athlete as well.