I am fortunate to work with a lot of talented grade school athletes. Even in a short time, progress is made towards goals whether in the gym, on the track or during competition. This little article takes the focus away from the athlete for a minute though and places the attention onto the parents and other supporters of these athletes.
The supporters of these athletes are a huge piece of the athlete’s success. Speaking recently to a client’s mother at a cross country meet really opened my eyes up. Even before the conversation though, all of the parents, family, friends and others were gathered around talking cross country shop and the general excitement of the meet. I noticed that all of them knew what goal times the coaches had predicted for their children, how their children had performed at previous meets, specific workout modalities and schedules and of course how proud they were. With all of that being said, the conversation to which I mentioned before brought to light more so how dedicated some of these athletes’ parents are. The mother mentioned to me that her children came first and besides the sacrifices of money for equipment, uniforms and traveling, time spent organizing and planning around other events and opportunity costs such as work itself, lifestyle changes had to be made in order for her children to receive the level of support she wanted to provide. I am not a parent and can highly respect that. Heck, it took me a long time to make enough lifestyle changes to take care of a dog.
It dawned on me that this is normal. No student athlete is doing it without this type of support. Sometimes from parents, coaches, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, friends and most likely a mix of some sort of all of these people in their lives. It also lent to me the desire to thank my own parents for all of their sacrifices so that my brother and I could play sports and participate in extracurricular activities. They continue to come support us at our competitions and I realized that , it really is a life long commitment from those behind the scenes. In general, I just wanted to write a little something besides just a social media post that says “Thank you” to those that support me and a recognition to athlete supporters in general. You all really do make the athlete’s accomplishments possible.