Have you been following the Summer Olympics? Do you have a favorite sport or athlete that you most enjoy watching? I don’t have a favorite sport, per say. I was curious to see how US Olympian Gabby Douglas did in Gymnastics. I was also anxious to see Oscar Pistorius, from South Africa, aka “Blade Runner”, did as well.
My kids have played sports off and on over the years. I can’t imagine what goes into raising an Olympic hopeful. I think it takes an extraordinary athlete, as well as parents, to get to the Olympics. After all, the parents are also the reason why these young men and women make it to the Olympics. The athletes put in a lot of hard work and dedication, but so do the parents. Not to mention all the support they give their Olympic hopeful.
As a parent I have always made sure to support my children’s athletic endeavors 100%. Even if it meant standing out in the freezing cold or boiling hot weather. In the past we have given up parties and other events just so our children can participate in sports. We’ve even LOST family members because of it.
Years ago when our daughter was little she played T-ball. She loved T-ball. Not only did she like being around her friends and team mates, but she genuinely enjoyed the game and looked forward to both the games and practices. T-ball was all she talked about.
Our niece was having her communion on a Sunday afternoon, the same time our daughter had her final T-ball game of the season. Our daughter was little at that time and didn’t understand the importance of supporting her cousin. All she wanted was to play in the last game.
To support our daughter we told my brother and sister in law that we couldn’t make it to the church but we’d be at the party afterwards because the game would be over by then. My brother in law told us that if we don’t attend the communion service at church we were not welcome to the party afterwards. Personally I think that was a very “cold” thing to say to us.
We had a choice, disappoint our daughter and not let her attend her last game, or not attend our niece’s communion. We decided it was more important to support our daughter and went to the game. My brother and sister in law haven’t spoke to us since. That was about 10 years ago.
Some people might think that we made the wrong decision, but we don’t think so. Our daughter was passionate about the game and who knows how it could have evolved. She could have gone on to play softball and maybe even play college softball, or even win a scholarship to play ball too. You never know. Or her love of the game could have extended to other sports too.
I’m sure that parents of Olympic hopefuls have to make the same kinds of sacrifices to help their sons and daughters turn their Olympic dreams into a reality.
It’s important to encourage and support your child every step of the way. Even if it’s a sport you are not necessarily interested in. If your child is eager to play a sport and excel at it it’s your duty as a parent to support them every step of the way.
When our daughter took track in middle school I knew nothing about the sport. I made an effort to research it and learn all I could about it. I did that to support my daughter.
Even though my daughter never won awards or received medals for her track efforts she still had fun. For us, that was most important. I’m sure she would have loved to have won something but as long as she knows she did her best she’s is OK with that. We always cheered her on, even if she didn’t win. I think that is vital to help promote your child’s confidence and self esteem. Even if your child doesn’t win it’s important to show your support and let them know that they are not “failures” just because they lost a game or a meet. They also need to know that you can’t win all the time, and they have to take a loss with a “gain of salt” and not let it dictate thier future in that sport. If it’s something they love and they are passionate about they need to stick with it and never give up.
Not every child will go on to the Olympics, but that is OK. There is plenty of non-Olympic recognition and awards athletes can strive for and achieve.
Duracell, an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games, wants to support our athletes. Team USA may rely on Duracell products in their training devices, but Duracell knows that they need more than that. They also need encouragement and inspiration from men, women and children here in the US.
In effort to show support to the Olympic athletes Duracell launched a Virtual Stadium app tab on their Facebook page for fans to send the athletes encouragement and inspiring message as they go for the gold.
To make it even more special, your words of encouragement will become part of Duracell’s Virtual Stadium, which will be displayed on 25+ foot high-tech screens in London this summer at the P&G Family Home (the only place where athletes and families can come together since family is not allowed in Olympic Village).
On top of that, when you submit a message or video you will be entered into a special sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games or a $500 Visa gift card, compliments of Duracell.
To learn more you can visit Duracell’s Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Duracell). There you can find the tab for the Virtual Stadium.
*I was compensated for this blog post as part of the SocialMoms and Duracell blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.