By: Taylor Morriss
I was listening to the radio on my way to work the other morning and one of the hosts was talking about how her nephew plays football—I’m not sure what team he plays for, but that’s not the point. He is 13 years old and is 6’ 3” which is crazy! What’s even crazier is he was being scouted by these coaches who pick “only the best of the best with ‘Draft potential’, and form a traveling football team out of these kids” according to the radio show host. In order for her nephew to be a part of this team, he would have to drop out of school and be homeschooled and more-or-less commit his life to working strictly towards the NFL Draft… all at 13 years old. She wanted to discuss with the listeners what they would do as parents if their son or daughter was given an opportunity like this based on their talent at such an early age.
Hearing the different sides to this topic, it caused me to consider what I personally thought about it. At 13 years old, I’m sure it’s difficult to allow your child to choose what they say they would like to pursue in life because in your mind, they aren’t old enough to know what they want yet. I’m 23 years old and I don’t even know what I want! It changes on the daily. Of course pursuing a sport would be ideal to these “potential Draft picks” because it’s fun and they enjoy playing (and they apparently don’t have to go to school anymore which is a BONUS). They may have an idea at that age that they are good, but I doubt they already know that they are good enough to eventually make it to the NFL Draft. I have seen kids who have an undoubted talent at the sport they play…did you guys see the video we posted of Garrett literally rolling over himself to make a play, or that home run he hit against TCU…and I think that if they are good enough and like it enough to pursue it, then they should be able to. I think that it’s important to sit down with them and discuss how THEY are feeling and what THEIR dreams are for themselves. An opportunity to play for a Select-home schooled-13U-travel team may only come once, but that is not to say that other chances to play at the elite level may not. With that being said though, it’s important to make sure that their dreams haven’t change along the way either. Check in with them every so often; communication will be key in something like this. Dad and Mom may be all rah rah rah, but we have to make sure that we aren’t just trying to live vicariously through our athlete. Rally together!
As parents, you want nothing but the best for your child and you want them to excel in life and reach their fullest potential. I do not have any kids, but I know this is true because my parents have expressed to my brother and me their wishes for us as we grow. While they support us and push us, they also make sure that we are following our own dreams and not just pursuing theirs.
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