Growing up in the inner city, everyone participated in sports. Whether it was just going to the park or begging your mom to sign you up for the local sports league…we all played.
This was an excellent way to not only create comradery amongst your teammates but also absorb some valuable lessons that can be used throughout your life. Most of us that enjoyed the sport we played wanted nothing more than to compete on a professional level one day. I’m certain if you talk to alot of our young melanated athletes their sentiments would be the same. Ask them “What do you want to be when you get older”? and the overwhelming response would be to play in the NBA or the NFL.
Now, there is nothing wrong with dreaming big. We all should have dreams and aspiration about what we want to do with our lives…that’s a good thing. However, all too often, children in our community focus solely on developing their athletic prowess and not enough time developing their intellect. Let‘s face it, everyone isn’t going to make it to the pros. If you look at the statistics most kids have a much higher chance of becoming a doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, or even a business owner.
Furthermore, it‘s our job as parents to keep our kids grounded and provide them with a realistic understanding of how the world works. For some children in our community, becoming a professional athlete is the quickest way to getting their families out of poverty. So, you will hear them say things like “When I make it, I’m buying my mom a house” or “When I make it, I’m buying my mom that car she always wanted” and even though those are great gestures and I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing for your family.
In my opinion, a child shouldn’t experience any pressure to succeed based on what his parents have not been able to accomplish. All too often we are forced into adulthood to quickly based on the insufficiencies of our parents. So, if your child wants to play sports…Allow them. Just make sure they understand that the opportunities in this world to be successful are limitless they just have to look behind the court or football field.