Parents, Coaches, Teachers & Owners – “Building A Champion” Part 4 Sparks

Every child has a spark inside of them when they are born. A lot of their life depends on that spark and what they do with it. Have you noticed what a 1 year old who just learned to walk does? Constant exploring of his/her surroundings touching, smelling, tasting and feeling. The “spark” for knowledge? The “spark” for sensory satisfaction?

The spark in every child can be fanned into an inferno of desire. For anything. Maybe for music, maybe for knowledge and maybe for food. The 6 year olds and under can’t really “fan” their flame on their own. The adults in their lives do it for them in words, giving them opportunities and through encouragement. This flame can be built through expectations too. Doing too much for a child is not a “flame enhancer.”

At about age 7 a child can begin to fan their own flame to a certain extent. Some children do and other children/athletes sit there and wait for others to inspire them. Their spark can remain small if the right adults don’t enter their lives. Parenting involves a lot of “fanning” the flame regarding attitudes, desires and determination and discipline. Parent a child who is given too much will usually result in a young adult who expects to be given what they need. Then sit there and complain when they don’t get what they want. Is this what we want?

Or do we want 7+ year olds who have a burning desire? Or maybe multiple burning desires? Part of “fanning” the flame is inspiration from the adults as we ‘build a champion.” Teaching that there are 100 different lives out there for every child and they get to pick which one they want to be happy with. But it is to be worked for not have handed to them. What an incredible lesson we can teach as we “build a champion.”

A 7 year old, or a 10 year old, or a 15 year old doesn’t have to be a “State Champion” or the “best at anything” to be a champion. Not if we believe that the ultimate goal is to achieve a successful, happy life. That is the ultimate trophy.

To take that spark and nurture it, feed it, help it and then watch it take a life of its’ own, magical. As I look back some of my most impressive “life champions” were my average athletes. Then there were some who have even shocked me as they always struggled to occasionally get on the awards stand only to go out in life and be surprisingly accomplished, happy and successful. Their spark grew. Their spark turned into a passion to be happy and successful. Trophies and medals = happiness and success when they are 30? Hardly.

Every child with a spark has the possibility of growing up with a flame inside and it is up to the parents, teachers and coaches to make this happen. Helping them grow with desire, determination, confidence, hard work ethic and with an understanding of personal responsibility helps fan the flame. Having high standards and teaching about the benefits of high standards is a plus. Teaching about being accountable for their actions helps. Being pampered and being given too much can throw water on our goal.

A 15 year old with only a spark is an ugly sight. This is what we have to strongly work against. This type of 15 year old is “our failure.” They can be saved but we don’t want these younger kids to get to that point.

Parenting a champion is a tough job. How is the spark in your children right now? Are there some embers? A fire brewing? Are they reaching out for more. What you see in your children today is your current report card as a parent. A? B? C? D? F?

But the semester isn’t over. There is still time to get your “parenting grade” to climb. Thankfully you have some help with this project in the form of coaches and teachers. We are a team working to send out a young adult with the tools to be a champion.

Every child can be a champion. Every child can attack their independent life “on fire.” (If the adults in their lives do a great job.)

***Special point – this article was about the fire in children, how is your own personal fire? Where are you at in life? Where you want to be, totally satisfied? Do you, as an adult, have any sparks that need to be fanned? Life is fun when you are “pursuing.” Still have some things to do before the rocking chair? Mom/dad things? Wife/husband things? How about personal things, just for you as a human being? Do you have any fire for yourself?

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