Many of you know Tom Burgdorf from Gymnet Sports. He posted this on Facebook the other day. It really makes a lot of sense.
Pampered Children Are Hard To Coach
“Your child is a real treat to teach/coach.” One of the comments about your child most parents love to hear. It means you have done a good job of parenting and your child has a bright future in learning from others. Great.
Children who grow up pampered are hard to coach. They get so much without earning it that they feel “entitled” to a reward regardless of effort or behavior. “Just show up sweetheart and we will give you a trophy.” “Sure, only give 50% in practice the week before the meet and you can still compete and represent my team.”
Are we sending the right signals when we “give without earning?”
We seem so hung up on keeping these kids happy that we are “giving” them their early life without them earning it. And then we are releasing them off to college, away from our umbrella of protection and saying “have a great life.” The college bound young adults aren’t afraid because they expect to find more people to “give” them what they want and need. A disaster waiting to happen and we are seeing it all over.
As parents, consider giving your coaches athletes who work hard. Athletes who know that you need to “do A and B before you get C.” If they consistently are given “C” without doing “A and B” guess what they will expect in the future. We want athletes who aren’t afraid to sweat. Children who have been raised at home where the lesson is try and learn from your experiences, not you will win all of the time. We want athletes who aren’t afraid of falling. A pampered child is usually shielded from situations where they may fall.
Step back today and look at the children you are guiding toward young adulthood and determine if you may be giving a little too much too often. We as parents need to be preparing them to be able to handle the ups and downs of life rather than making them “happy” every day. You are shaping these individuals for a life with “less of you in it.” The sooner we realize that the better. Build a young adult who can excel at handling everything that life throws at them. I want them to win that trophy.
Tom Burgdorf Gymnet Sports