Athletics and Business Intertwine to Show Life Lessons: Thoughts from an Athlete Parent
As I was growing up—and even to this day, I am very involved in athletics. As a high-schooler and through university, I participated in varsity track, basketball and baseball, and studied martial arts, achieving my black belt in tae kwon do and hapkido. I learned many valuable lessons that have been tenets for me to this day; lessons that I use and have passed on to both my children, Caitlin and Alex.
My daughter Cait, who now is finalizing grad school, was an amazing lacrosse player, and her brother Alex is too, playing varsity for a major university near Maryland. During their high school careers, they were amazing (still are) but things have changed. As they moved into the collegiate ranks, the competition gets stronger, harder, more intense and the idea and thought, I believe, crosses every athletes mind, “Should I just give up and just quit? Is it worth it?”
Both of my children have confided in me with this thought, and, in each case, I have shared what I consider a valuable life-lesson message. I told them that to be in the game they need to really be three things: be eligible, be coachable and be present. Let me explain what I mean.
There is a massive shift between being in high school and college and the stakes are much higher both on and off the field. In college, the biggest, brightest and best gather. There is, in many cases, unfair picking and choosing, favoritism, back-stabbing, undercutting and big egos—much like life. It stinks but it is what it is! So how does one survive? First off, understand that while, in many cases, you can’t dictate what happens, you can drive and steer your future in a positive direction, the key is to be aware and open. Sticking with it builds character and no one can take that from you.