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Making your kid to be a future Olympian

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, 08-07-2012 at 11:20 AM (13887 Views)
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2010 Winter Olympics Ice Dancing chamipion Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue when they were kids

As you're watching the Olympics on TV, I'm sure you might be wondering how to make your own kid to be a future athlete. You see Michael Phelps' mother cheering for his son and you're thinking that someday you'll see your kid competing in the big league. Of course every parent wants to provide what's best for their kids because their success will become yours.

Some parents of the kids I coach in a little league basketball, believes that their kids have a great chance to be basketball star. They videotaped their kids every game, hired their own coach, rent a gym, strictly followed diet and schedules - these are the stuff some parents does to their kids because they believe their kid will soon play in a Division I NCAA school and eventually in the NBA. I know some parents are already discreetly talking to a scout/agent of a professional team (which is bad move and I will explain on another day).

So if you think your kid will be the next Michael Phelps, LeBron James, Jordyn Wieber or Maria Sharapova, I will give you a guide as to how to nurture your kid to be an Olympic athlete!


Stick to the sport where your kid excels at. You may enroll your kid 2 sports/year, that's fine as long as you prioritized the sport where you think your kid will be good at. Your kid should be exposed to the concept of competition. Let him/her experience winning and losing, glory and struggles, success and failures.

When you're watching a special documentary of an athlete on TV, you will see clips of him/her already playing the sport at a young age. Go on YouTube and you will see a 3 year old is already starting to play tennis and use a senior-type racket. It's all about PRACTICE. If your kid start practicing the craft at an early age, the better chance your kid will be good and compete at a young age. According to the book called "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell, you need 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert on your craft. On his book, he explained on how The Beatles achieved their greatness. As a coach and a believer of the book, I totally believe that hardwork beats natural talent. If you have time to read this book, it is worth the time reading it.

Hire a coach. For starters, it doesn't have to bea 5-star coach right away, as long as the mentor has some exposure in the semi or pro league competitions, has some knowledge in kinesiology, and his/her training philosophy fits best to you and to your kid.

You must surround your kid with other competitive-minded people (fellow athletes). He/she must have a healthy competitive spirit and be ready to terrorize other competitors when opportunity comes up. Your kid will learn from other competitors as well: what do they eat, know their hopes and goals, playing tactics, and etc.

Consider home-schooling, sports academy, or quit school (if necessary). Our very own "pambansang kamao" Manny Pacquiao never set his foot to an educational institution at 14 years old, but instead he went to a boxing gym to train and admitted to the Philippine National Amateur Boxing Team. It's all about setting your priorities straight and the desire to learn on the craft. At 16, he turned pro and wom on his first 11 fights.

Let your kid join semi or pro competitions - whether be pro boxing, gymnastics, swimming, dance sport, or whatever sport your kid will be in. You have to let go of your kid's arm and let him/her roam alone in the wilderness where competition is fierce. As for basketball, you might have to stay in school and must be at least a high-school graduate and 23 years old to be drafted to the PBA. So might as well go to college through an athletic scholarship at Ateneo, or La Salle. But for other basketball league such as in the NBA or in Europe, they're not really strict on age and educational background for international players as long as they are capable to play in a pro level. Minnesotta Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio signed his first professional basketball contract at 15 years old to play with DKV Juventut in the Liga ACB based in Spain. He was very raw but full of potential - he was paid to practice and improve his skills. How amazing is that!

If your kid get into a semi and pro league where you get cash prizes, if not get funded by the Philippine Sports Commision - that's the time you might have to change coach, hire a Physical Therapist, Dietitian, and rent a training facility and train there anytime you want in private.

As parents, at the end of the day, it's all about your kid's love and desire of the sport. Maybe it's your love and desire too, but keep in mind that you're raising a child not a racehorse. Leave the constructive criticism to his/her coach, your job is to support your kid through the good and the bad times.

Good luck and hope to see your kid compete in the next Olympics!


  1. reminok's Avatar
    There are some not very pleasant moments here. I have always been against children's sports. There are areas where parents decide for their children from 3-4 years old. It is not right. You need to choose sports as a profession not earlier than high school. This is my opinion. You can always use your passion for sports as a gambler here - [url][/url] It is much safer than being on the field and at risk of injury.


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