I didn't realize I had awesome parents until I looked around and realized that most people would kill to have parents like mine. I’m not here to brag or make anyone feel like they’re not doing a great job.
It’s just that at the age of 26, I can clearly see the value they added to my life. If I can help someone else’s quality of life by sharing my parents’ methods, then I will!
I’m two days away from leaving for Spain, to get paid to play the game I love. Through hell and high water I made it here to the place I spoke about when I was 11 years old. My hard work is not the only thing that got me to this point. In fact, I know without a doubt that I would not be here without my parents. Here are 4 things they did to help me reach my dreams.
1. They Showed Me A Winning Example- The number one thing my parents did for me, was lead by example. Growing up there was an expectation of excellence in my house, and it started with my parents. I saw my parents lead other people to success. I watched them as they received recognition for using their gifts to help people. I watched them start businesses and give money to worthy causes. In short, my parents were a walking billboard about how to win. I didn't know I was paying as much attention to them as I was; their habits soon became mine.
2. They Parented My Potential: My parents saw greatness in me before anyone else could, and they made it a point to pull it out of me. As a child who constantly stayed in trouble, my mom would find different ways to punish me. When she realized that I had a gift and slight interest in writing, she would make me write essay papers whenever I would get into trouble at school. I remember those papers to this day. Most importantly those moments made me a better writer. It is so important for parents to be able to identify and speak to their children’s potential.
3. They Let Me Make My Own Choices- I don’t have any children, but I’m sure it can be tempting to try to hold your child’s hand through life. I see it all the time. Parents want their kids to go to a certain school, so they push the kid in that direction. Or the parents want their child to work in a certain field, so they push the kid in that direction. I love how my parents allowed me to choose the path for my life. Although they would give me sound guidance, they never forced me to live a life I didn’t want. They ultimately trusted that they taught me what I needed to know to make the best decisions for my life.
4. They Invested In Me - Whether it was time, money, or effort, my parents invested everything they could to make sure I reached my fullest potential. Investments are powerful because they hold the recipient accountable. I knew I had to work hard consistently because there were other people’s resources on the line. It also showed me that they were all in, which gave me confidence to dive full force into my dream.
I know everyone’s methods are different. They should be, because every child requires a different approach to reach their full potential. However, certain principles and practices will always stand the test of time.
As a youth basketball coach and trainer I’ve observed a consistent pattern amongst kids. The players who had strong support from at least one parent were more likely to be attentive, confident, and even more skilled. On the contrary, the players who lacked a parental support system usually had low confidence and were less consistent. There were rare exceptions, but the trend was apparent.
Parents have a tremendous responsibility to push their children to greatness whether they are an athlete or not. The world would be a much better place with more equipped and empowered young people. It is not the teacher’s job or coach's job, but the duty falls on parents to set the standard for success!