There are many reasons why an athlete wants to be an athlete.
When I started going to practice, I wanted to have my sister's wall decoration. It was an xc-ski pole hanging horizontally so all her medals could hang down on it. I thought this was the coolest thing, and I felt I needed to do the same as she did to have one of those “medal-poles” hanging over my bed as well.
As you see, I did not have in my mind to become an Olympic Champion. I think I didn´t even know that the Olympics existed. I actually think this was good for me, not knowing what pathway I entered.
Starting sports at a young age can have many reasons:
- Have a special decoration (like my sister's ski pole)
- Being part of a specific group
- Sharing a hobby with a friend
- Having fun joining the practice
- Exciting activities
Whatever makes a kid want to move, want to join a club or training group, or just go on their own is a good reason. All of those and probably many others are great. There might even be subconscious reasons like balancing out school, which is rarely a kid's conscious goal. But behind all of the reasons above, there is a subconscious desire that sport can fulfill.
At a very young age, they may not even realize they are an athlete by going this route, which is fine too. It might be “only” the side effect of the reasons listed before, and this side effect may lead to an athletic career. Reasons a kid decides to try out a sport probably change over time, and that´s okay too.
When a 7-year-old becomes aware of all the things happening by joining a sports group, they might experience new passions. Like playing a specific position in a team, or it opens up the awareness of all the other sports out there, maybe competing becomes fun. Everything new, not just sports, opens up a whole new world we didn´t even know it existed. And even if it will be a short career, ending after a couple of years or after graduating Highschool, it still offers a lot for the future.
- Learning how to work for goals
- Learning to deal with failure
- Being part of a group and all those dynamics
- Experiencing competitive situations
- Learning to live an active lifestyle for health benefits
- Body awareness
- Working towards goals takes time and doesn´t happen overnight
And the list goes on.
So - if you or your kid has the chance to experience sports, please don´t miss out. Just make sure it´s something fun and doesn´t feel like torture.
Sports is an excellent school for life with so many aspects covered - but watching sport doesn´t do it - doing it offers the benefits!
Do you have a Dream? Keep going towards it :)
WHAT DOES AN ATHLETE NEED TO SUCCEED?
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