Why We Can't All Be #1
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Why We Can't All Be #1

Is your child really the best at everything?

Why We Can't All Be #1
Gabrielle McCracken

If I could sum up my childhood in one word if would be "soccer.” I grew up with my dad as my coach, and it was one of the greatest times of my life. Many of my favorite childhood memories include early Saturday morning soccer games, three-day tournaments, and blazing, dangerously hot, summer practices with my team.

I loved my dad being my coach, but as a young player, I endured more than any other player on the field. He made sure I ran faster, played harder and led the team on and off the field.

There is a difference in this father-daughter dynamic, though. My dad did not tell me I was the best soccer player on the team, because I wasn't. Some of my teammates were more physical than me, faster than me, and just a better soccer player than me. After each game, my dad was encouraging and supportive to me, win or lose. We also discussed all of my mistakes within the game and how I could improve. While this was irritating at times, I love him for it now. He did not only coach this way, but his parenting was very similar. Academically, he encouraged me to do my best, while reminding me where I needed to do better.

My dad is not a pessimist, by any means--he is a realist. He does not pretend that my talents are unlike anyone else's, and the same perspective applies to my brother. He has prepared me for the real world. Now, as an adult, failure does not intimidate me. Failing does not scare me, and adversity does not hinder me. He chose to tell the truth to my brother and I, instead of praising us for a participation medal at the end of the year. In fact, if the soccer team did not win in the league overall, my dad did not even hand out participation medals to each player. Instead, we enjoyed a bonfire or a night out as a team. Looking back, I did not realize what he was doing, but now I completely understand. The real world does not hand out participation medals. When applying for a job, one doesn't "almost get hired." The same perspective applies in sports, music or any other talent a child pursues.

I have become a stronger woman because of this way of coaching and parenting. I understand the importance of setting goals, and even more importantly, I understand the hard work and dedication it takes within myself to not only conquer those goals, but to surpass them. Every child is special, but is boosting their ego and lying to them about their abilities really worth the pain it will cause them later?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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