All children have the potential to excel at something, but those who do so at sports are some of the most challenging to support. According to the coaches at Everest Gymnastics, parenting athletes with professional potential is a long and arduous road that is not without sacrifices. Here, the staff opens up about what it is like to foster greatness in the next generation of sports role model.
Q: How do I know if my child’s abilities are more than just “good?”
Everest Gymnastics: Many of the world’s greatest athletes showed promise from a very early age. Often, especially in gymnastics, new movements tend to come easily for a natural athlete. Like a high-performing academic, a gifted athlete may learn faster than their classmates. You may have other parents pull you aside with comments about your child’s ability. Keep in mind, however, that a truly gifted athlete will catch the attention of their coaches, who will discuss with you more advanced training.
Q: Is it possible to earn a living as a gymnast?
Everest Gymnastics: Absolutely, although you should be aware that elite sports will probably be a significant drain on your family’s budget. Further, your son or daughter will likely never earn an Olympic gold medal, nor the fame that goes along with it, even if they are good enough. That does not mean that they cannot make a living doing what they love. Many gymnasts, in addition to receiving valuable college scholarships, go on to become trainers, choreographers, or even athletic judges.
Q: What should I do if my child gets injured?
Everest Gymnastics: Unfortunately, even with all the safety precautions in place at Everest Gymnastics, injuries occur. The most important thing you can do is to ensure that your child recovers quickly before they are allowed to continue training. Dedicated athletes often want to rush back to the gym, which is a mistake that could cost their career.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of parenting a gifted athlete?
Everest Gymnastics: That honestly depends on your definition of challenging. You may wind up homeschooling to keep up with athletic meet and competition commitments. Remember, however, your child’s journey will take them to a place where dreams come alive and, if they are willing to suffer the negatives, you should, too.