TrueSport Ambassador and four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans offers her advice on how to find the happy medium between offering the support youth athletes need, but without pushing them *too* much.
Well, I would advise a parent whose kids are involved in sports to push when appropriate, but not push too much. So I think I was very blessed. My parents … My mom doesn’t know how to swim. My dad kind of floats. So my parents said to me, “Look, we see the passionate in your eyes and we see that you want to do this, so we will support you. We will get up every day and take you to practice. We will do everything we can in our power, but if you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it right.” So yeah, there were days I didn’t want to go practice. And my mom was like, “Nope, you’re going to practice, but if you don’t want to go to practice in general, let’s just quit.”
So I think there’s a very happy medium between pushing when the child needs pushing, but only if the child exhibits the willingness to do it, if that makes sense. I think the child has to love it, and once they love it, our kids need pushes every once in a while, but certainly if a kid … Example, my brothers, I have two older brothers. They’re both very good swimmers and they, probably as talented as I was and, they hated it. My parents said, “Okay, that’s … You have to do it. We’re not going to make you do something you don’t want to do.”
My name is Janet Evans and I’m a TrueSport.