During a conversation following a networking meeting - which consisted of some amazing "people" - not just professionals.... I was reminded of just how critical it is to help our youth know who they are...without the sport. I for one am so grateful for basketball. A $20 round rubber basketball afforded me the opportunity to attend and graduate college from a fantastic university debt free. Yes, I'm grateful. However, that basketball wasn't all that encompassed who I was, but that was unfortunately what I believed for too long. I've known and spoke with many former collegiate athletes who struggled during and following college (including myself and a 2016 college graduate - not much has changed) because outside of their sport, they simply weren't focused. Sport provided them with the structure they came to rely on, more than they even realized. Parents signed them up and scheduled their days - all out of a desire to provide the best, and yet it didn't quite prepare them for the rest. Coaches in college design practices and life to meet their needs, not always having the students needs at the forefront. In sports such as Football, where there are a large number of players, there is something known as "clustering". This "clustering" points players to particular majors because it benefits ultimately the coaches, not the players. I was fortunate to play college basketball and graduate with someone who knew from day 1 what role the collegiate experience played - and that was to prepare her for what she wanted to do in life. The majority, however, don't know exactly what they want to do and that's ok, but all students and student-athletes should enter college or life after college with an understanding of their strengths, what they value and an idea of their curiosities.
We may not always know what our passions are at an early age, but I've had the privilege of working with teens who have so many answers and ideas about what they want in life, who they want to serve and what problems they'd love to work on...... My third grade teacher told me in high school, "Erin, you'd be a great teacher"...... that was the extent to which I considered teaching... fast forward to where I found my passion and where I know my strengths are - Teaching, coaching, encouraging and helping... How about you? What have you been told time and again you have a natural talent for? Have you explored it?
A few questions to get your child started:
What would you like to start doing?
What would you like to stop doing?
What is something you'd like to do but aren't sure how?
When have you found yourself in a "zone"? What tasks are you performing?
For older kids - How would you spend your day if money or education weren't a consideration?
What are you curious about? When you daydream, what is it about?
Make it a great day!