If you’re serious about helping the kids in your care become great – as athletes and as people – then you are responsible for developing and cultivating each of these unique and important abilities. Your kids cannot become their best without them.
Developing these talents isn’t cheap or easy, though. You can’t spend the night camping out in a store parking lot on Black Friday, then be first in line to buy your child a love for the game. You can’t stampede your way into a store to get your child the toughness it takes to overcome adversity. And even if you were willing to square up and fight someone for it, you won’t find the humility it takes to get coached, the selflessness required to be a great teammate, or the courage it takes to really, truly compete sitting on a shelf somewhere. Those qualities – the ones possessed by the champion – can’t be found in a store aisle, an online warehouse, or a Black Friday circular.
If you really want your child to develop their talent in these areas, there’s a price that must be paid. If you want them to achieve greatness and to reach their full potential, it’ll take a daily commitment. That’s because greatness in any area can only be built through a long, slow process. It can’t be purchased on Black Friday or given as some sort of one-time gift. For your athlete, that daily process includes trying and failing. It includes learning and growing. It includes struggling, improving, and eventually succeeding. This is not quick, easy, or convenient work we’re talking about here. It’s a challenging journey, and he or she probably can’t navigate it alone. They’ll need plenty of help and support along the way, which is of course where you come in.
As a parent or a coach, you’ve got a price to pay – a daily commitment to make, too. For you, the process of helping your kids reach their full potential includes supporting and encouraging. Sometimes it means challenging them and holding them accountable. It means recognizing the opportunities that exist each day to teach, train, and equip them in the areas you see clearly as most important to their success. It means relentlessly working to develop their most important talent.
Things like passion and toughness, like humility, selflessness, or courage – they don’t come cheap. They must be developed and cultivated every day. Your child has an important role to play in that process, and he or she must accept that responsibility. But you have an important role to play, too, and how you embrace that challenging work will probably help to determine how they choose to embrace it as well. Those who’ve committed to this work have come to an important understanding, that greatness doesn’t go on sale. That despite the culture we live in, where most of us are desperate to find the ultimate bargain, there is a high price to pay to be great at anything in life. And even on Black Friday, greatness requires that we pay the full price.