I remember as a kid I was always playing sports and trying new things. Even though from age 8 to 12 I was dedicated to Taekwondo Karate I was still playing basketball, soccer and baseball and riding my bike and skateboarding all of which I believed help me with my coordination for excelling at Karate and allowed me to get my black belt and win tournaments. I didn't know it then but I was learning a valuable lesson of having to be somewhere at a certain time and wasn't allowed to leave until the class was over. There is always a transitional period in one's athletic life where your interests change, friends change and life gets a little more complicated. When that happened to me I quit Karate and instead of switching gears and taking my focus to another activity I just started floating around and ultimately that lead to getting into trouble. At 14 I started playing football but the couple years that I had of just cruising around with no structure made it difficult to dedicate myself to the three days a week of practice and weekend games. I did it but it wasn't easy on my parents and it effected my school and some friendships.
I know a lot of kids start out playing multiple sports, loving some and hating others while parents have their idea as to what sport THEY want them to do. As parents we are constantly watching body mechanics and commenting on how well WE think they are moving with the hopes that they will become the professional athlete that THEY never were. Society has glorified professional athletes so much that as parents we want our child to live that lifestyle and make millions of dollars. We want our children to be successful and its easy to think of success first as a professional athlete because they are the ones we see on TV. How often do you see a successful CEO of a business in a Gatorade commercial? Our kids see it too, the athlete on TV strong and beautiful with the big house and fancy cars. Its important for kids to have an idol, a mentor and goals but we as parents need to bring in the perspective of where that professional athlete started and the hard work they put in to get to where they are. Some kids grow up just playing one sport and sometimes it does pay off. But what happens when they are done with that sport? Bringing in the diversity of different activities will help anyone get better at the activity or sport they truly are passionate about and it could create a new perspective on life and maybe change ones goals from professional athlete to the next president or that successful CEO that is on a Gatorade commercial. Whatever it is make if fun for everyone, stay fit, healthy and active and be ready for anything. Get Up, Get Out and Get Going!