“Building A Champion” Part 1

For me there are 2 types of champions, one wins when compared to others and the other is a person who reaches more of their potential than others. Sports provides us with many special champions from the little league winning pitcher in a game to Olympic Champions. The 2nd type intrigues me even more.

The test is coming. Some parents, coaches and teachers have to “cram” because this “child” is within a year of the “drive away” to the rest of their lives, without us. Other parents, coaches and teachers have a couple more years and still others have 5 years + before they wave goodbye. But the test is coming and everyone faces this test. Just how prepared will your children, your athletes, your students, be for that “next phase defining moment?”

When was your moment of realization that you were out there on your own? How did you feel? My moment was looking up into the sky laying on an army cot with 24 other young men surrounding me. I didn’t know any of them. Knowing that “mommy” wasn’t going to be waking me up in the morning, it was going to be an army drill sergeant. How prepared was I for the independent life I was about to start creating for myself? I did want to have a “do over” and go back 3 or 4 years to work harder, to pay closer attention and to learn to be better prepared. But I was who I was. The adults in my life were finished with me. Time to step up.

Building a champion is about giving our children the tools to succeed not just having trophies on their bedroom dresser. It is so exciting that we can make champions of ALL of these kids. A champion is someone who is ready for the next challenge and most of the time succeeds. That is my definition of a champion. My ultimate goal is to help make that “next phase defining moment” less scary, less sad and more exciting. There will be a moment for each of your children where they step out on their own. Hopefully prepared.

It is hard to be a champion when you are pampered. It is hard to be a champion when Mom and Dad do so much. It is hard to be a champion when you don’t let them sweat, skin their knee and get up by themselves. It is hard to be a champion when the adults do all of the decision making. Childhood is the minor leagues for the “big show.” Get prepared to succeed at the next level.

Our family dynamic is going to change a great deal in about 22 months. One family member is a junior in high school and his drive away moment could be about 660 days away. Yes I said days. He is 2 summer family vacations away. We have 2 more Christmas dinners before things change.. 2 more “Happy Birthdays to you.” I was just walking him to kindergarten. Is he really ready?

That 1st night in a college dorm? The walk to the 1st college class with 400 other students in a lecture hall? Is he prepared for what is going to come his way? How many mistakes will he make? How many “big” mistakes will he make?

Have we built a champion? In so many ways he is better than I ever thought he would be at this stage. But there are still areas that need to be improved. He needs a crash course in some things. Do we have the time? We have to have the time. We can’t fail in this project. Am I being overly protective and overly concerned?

We only get 1 shot at preparing him. The test is coming. I want him prepared. I want him to look over his shoulder and say thanks to all of the adults who have trained him. I want him confident, prepared, eager and aggressive. He has to have a terrific life. Not a good life but a terrific life. I want him happy and I want him successful.

I am a little afraid because this test for him coming up is a test for me too. A test for all of the coaches, teachers and other adults in his life. These children trusted us to prepare them to be champions. I hope, when the time comes, we pass the test.

How much time do you have left?

Every child can be a champion.

Tom Burgdorf on Facebook

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