Our son participated in his very first JiuJitsu tournament recently. Leading up to the tournament as a parent you have so many concerns and your mind will race with images of every possible outcome. How will he handle the pressure of his first tournament? Is he ready? Whether he wins or loses, how will he handle himself? To be honest, my heart was probably pounding harder than his as he walked out onto the mat. Then I looked out and knew he would be fine. He was in great hands. He stood there face to face with his Sifu, focused on those important last minute words before he stepped out in front of his opponent. Fact is, to him, there wasn't anybody else on that mat other than him, his opponent and his Sifu.
The truth is, as much as we want to be the ones to shape our children's lives, we cannot do it alone. We aren't with our children 24-7-365. And let's be honest, that's best for everyone involved. It really does take a village to raise a child. It's important that we are mindful of this and act accordingly. Be selective on who you let coach or mentor your child. Don't settle for anything less than others who share your core values. And when you are fortunate enough to find them, make sure you appreciate them. If a coach is being tough on your kid for the right reasons, support their direction. Growth cannot happen without discomfort and leadership isn't always easy. If they are willing to invest in your child, support their efforts.
The reason this is so important, is because one day, no matter how hard we work as parents, our children will tune us out. And when they do, we should all hope that they have someone else in their lives willing to give them direction.
I have been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by incredible people my whole life. People that have given me advice that I recite to my very own children today. People that have invested their time, efforts and patience to help me along the way. When you see these relationships growing, make sure you capture them. They will become great reminders of their path and those who helped them along the way.
Special Note: I would like to dedicate this post to my very first coach, John Shuttleworth who passed away way too soon. John, above all else, was an incredible human being who cared about all those around him. You couldn't help but smile when he walked into the room (or onto the field). He was the perfect example of the type of person we should all seek to become. We will miss you John. Thank you for everything.