With the winter Olympics in full effect you may be wondering just how to raise an Olympic athlete. Are Olympians born this way or does parental guidance create this ambition? And what inspires an athlete to have so much inner drive and dedication to become an Olympic athlete? This passion and love for the sport has to come from somewhere, right? These are all great questions and if you are a parent, you have plenty of reason to be in search of the answer. Let me share with you how to raise an Olympic athlete so that you can help your daughter or son to possibly be one in the future.
1. Following in Your Footsteps
If you have a particular sport, career or even a hobby you are very passionate about, you should share this with your child. Passion is not something that can be taught; you either have it or you do not. If your child sees your passion for a sport, they will have a greater interest in trying this out. I became a runner at the young age of seven by following in my father’s footsteps in his passion for running. And although I am not an Olympic athlete, my interest for running was all sparked from my father. I am now a lifelong runner and competitor. So help your child to find a passion, because this is the first step in how to raise an Olympic athlete.
2. Just Believe
If you have confidence and you believe in yourself, you will find success in whatever you do. Teach your child to just believe in themselves and let them know they are capable of anything if they put in hard work, dedication and lots of training.
3. Show Your Love to Them
No matter where my children wind up in the future they will always know I love them. I put them as my priority no matter how busy I am and I always tell them, “I love you.” Give your child a hug, hold their hand and show your love to them. The majority of Olympic athletes attribute their success to being surrounded by love.
4. Be Realistic
Success cannot be achieved without failure, so let your child know they may fall down many times in their sport but they should get back up and keep trying. To achieve success you may fall many times, but a winner never gives up. This is a lesson your child can use in their sport and in all aspects of life.
5. Never Push a Sport
If your child has no desire to play a sport, never push it. Drive has to come from within and the desire to play a sport cannot be forced. Let your child guide you in the sport of their interest (if any at all). If you take the sidelines in this choice they may be more driven, independent and accountable to the sport they choose!
6. Provide All the Resources
Let’s face it, lessons and professional training can be majorly expensive and not an expense we can all afford, so get real with your budget. If you are unable to swing the cost of professional training fees, get tapes and read books about how you can help. Or why not try a barter? My mother once babysat for the owner of an acting studio so I could go to acting school. It all paid off when I was the lead in a play. Use what you've got to help your child.
7. Teach Your Child to Never Give up on Their Dreams
If you instill strong and ambitious values in your child, you will help them to never give up on their dreams. If you teach your child to work hard and chase their dreams, knowing that they can achieve this, they will learn to never give up on anything.
Whether your child chooses to be an Olympic athlete or just has ambition to achieve all their life goals, remember you set the standard and help pave the path to an incredible future, so take the time to guide your child. What Olympic athlete is your hero and why?