What pro sports parents wish for their kids may surprise you

Last weekend’s Parade Magazine featured an interview with Kristi Yamaguchi. The amazing figure skater is married to NFL hockey great Bret Hedican and they have two small daughters, Keara and Emma. In “Brady’s Bits”, James Brady asks Kristi if Keara and Emma are athletic. Kristi’s response is interesting:

“Hard to say when they’re so young. But, they are well coordinated. We want them to enjoy a range of things: sports, dance, the arts.”

In a culture where parents push kids very young to specialize in sports, seeing what a sports power-couple is doing with their children should tell you all you need to know!

Sports should be part of childhood, not all of childhood. Sports should be one of many activities children are exposed to while young but not the only activity. To be truly well rounded, kids do need to be exposed to sports and non-sports. They need a variety of structured and unstructured activities. And, this “formula”, of sorts, should last well into high school. Honestly, variety while growing up will serve kids far better in life than specializing too young, too fact in just about anything – that includes music and dance, too.

So, do as the sports stars do, let your kids spread their wings and just be kids! They only have one childhood and shouldn’t waste it with a grand plan to greatness. If they are meant to be great or win a gold metal or write a concerto, they’ll get their but they don’t need to accomplish it all by 8th grade…or even 10th or 12th!