If you’re serious about helping your child achieve greatness – on the playing field and beyond – then you are responsible for developing and cultivating each of these champion-minded qualities. Your child cannot become his or her very best without them.
Developing these talents isn’t cheap or easy, though. You can’t spend the night camping out in a store parking lot on Black Friday, then be first in line to buy your child some passion for playing the game. You can’t stampede your way through the doors in a rush to get your child the toughness it takes to overcome adversity. And even if you were willing to square up and fight someone for it, you won’t find the humility it takes to get coached, the selflessness required to be a great teammate, or the courage to take winning risks sitting on a shelf somewhere. Those qualities - the ones possessed by the champion in sports and in life - can’t be found in a store aisle, an online warehouse, or a Black Friday circular.
So if you really want your child to develop their talent in these areas, what is the price that must be paid? If you want them to achieve greatness and to reach their full potential, what does it take? It takes a strong, unique, daily commitment. That’s because greatness can only be built through a long, slow process. It can’t be purchased on Black Friday or given as some sort of one-time gift. For your athlete, this daily process includes trying and failing. It includes learning and growing every day. It includes struggling, improving, developing, and finally succeeding. This is not quick, easy, or convenient work we're talking about here. The journey to greatness is long and difficult, and it’s likely they’ll need help and support along the way. This, of course, is where you come in.
As a sports parent, you’ve got a price to pay - a daily commitment to make, too. For you, the process of helping your child reach their full potential includes supporting and encouraging. Sometimes it means challenging your child and holding him or her accountable. It means recognizing the opportunities that exist each day to teach, train, and equip them in the areas you see clearly as most important to their success. It means fully developing their most important talent.
Your child’s passion or toughness, their humility, selflessness, or courage - among other things they’ll need in order to be great, in sports and in life - don’t come cheaply or easily. They are built, brick by brick, every day. Your child has an important role to play in that building process, and he or she must accept that responsibility. But you have an important role to play in the process, too, and the way you embrace that challenging work will probably help to determine how your child chooses to embrace it as well. I hope you can develop this important understanding in your own life and commit to helping your child develop it too, that greatness doesn’t go on sale. That despite the culture we live in, where most of us are desperate to find the ultimate bargain, there is a high price to pay to be your best in any area of life. And even on Black Friday, greatness requires you to pay the full price.