Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

If you are a sports parent, you might have watched the video Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller posted on Instagram that went viral earlier this week. 

The video shows his young son operating up a mountain road. Miller, who after thrived in such higher altitudes as a downhill skier, captures the moment as he seems to drive behind him.

According to Miller’s Instagram account, the boy “quit on” his soccer group and, as a result, “I let him run the hill.”

“For these who are concerned, the hill operating was his thought,” the post study. “He mentioned he didn’t run in the course of the game. This kid is subsequent level. #prouddad”

Some who commented on the post applauded Miller’s “tough really like.” Other people believed his apparent punishment was as well harsh.

We do not know all the specifics, or what Miller’s intention was in posting the video. But he has offered an introspective moment for all parents. Let’s place into point of view some themes he raises:

1. Commitment to a group is essential, but so is understanding the motives your child’s commitment may possibly waiver.

“This was about so a great deal additional than a game of soccer,” Miller’s post study. “It’s about teaching our children in no way to quit.”

But perhaps Miller’s son, or your son or daughter, does not like soccer, or one more sport. You can see such indicators with a lack of work or in other approaches. Children also can verify out swiftly, particularly if we push a sport or notion on them.

When my older son was eight, he was nonetheless understanding to play baseball. He was frustrated, I suspect, that some children had been improved than him. 1 summer time Saturday morning, when I took him out to a field to informally practice with other children, I kept him there right after absolutely everyone left and ran him by way of additional drills. He didn’t take pleasure in it.

“I do not like baseball as a great deal as you,” he told me.

I had turned baseball into a unfavorable expertise — at least in that moment — and was in danger of losing him absolutely.

I backed off and we didn’t play for the rest of the summer time. His interest reignited when we returned in the fall and he is nonetheless playing it — and loving it — in higher college.

Bear in mind, as well, that children want to please you as a parent. Perhaps Miller’s son wanted to run that hill. Or perhaps he just wanted to please his dad.

But he nonetheless may possibly want to play soccer once more.

two. Our children are not superhuman, they’re just human — like us

Even Miller, the most decorated male alpine skier in U.S. history, is not a superhero. He reached a point exactly where he didn’t want to do it at the highest level any longer.

“There are just so lots of other variables that come into play with skiing, and the greatest a single is the want and willingness to take dangers and lay your physique out there,” he told The Boston Globe for a story published this month. “That unquestionably goes away additional as you get older. I didn’t seriously do it for any of that.”

Often we as coaches, or parents, count on players, or children, to be as well a great deal like us.

When he managed the Senators and Rangers, Ted Williams seemed frustrated his players did not have the exact same keen batter’s eye he did. Far more lately, Patrick Ewing couldn’t look to figure out why even his veteran players on Georgetown’s men’s basketball group couldn’t compete at a superior level for an whole game, as he after did.

I wanted my son to like baseball as a great deal as I did from an early age. But it is OK for our children to like, and be very good at, other items than we are. Or it really is even OK for them to not be as very good as we had been. And it really is OK for them to attempt some thing and transform their minds.

Perhaps Miller is channeling his son’s inner triathlete by possessing him run up a mountain. Far more most likely, he’s displacing his personal remaining passion to compete.

three. Punishment vs. discipline

When I coached my younger son’s fourth-grade basketball group in a competitive church league, some of our players treated our biweekly practices like recess. This was OK to a point, but it became frustrating when I attempted to clarify drills and plays.

I asked a single dad who stayed for practice if he would run an “exercise corner” in the fitness center for children who weren’t paying consideration. The boys who acted up did push-ups and other calisthenics. We didn’t overdo it, and we produced it all look like enjoyable.

Some parents disliked this strategy of coaching and I got a get in touch with from the church’s director of activities, who gently pointed out the complaints to me. These parents believed I was punishing their children I felt I was disciplining them. Perhaps we require to distinguish in between the two.

To me, punishment is what I saw the other evening at my son’s baseball game. He’s now in seventh grade, nonetheless an impressionable age. When the game was close in the final inning and we stole second base, the opposing coach loudly berated his shortstop for not covering the bag. He swore as his voice loudly — and awkwardly — carried across the field. When he produced a pitching transform, he continued to yell at his shortstop as he took the ball and tossed it to the new pitcher as an alternative of basically handing it to him.

My intent with the calisthenics was to teach a lesson about the value of practice and discipline. This coach just wanted to win, and he humiliated a kid in the approach.

Let’s hope Miller hasn’t accomplished that with his viral video, as well.

Steve Borelli, aka Coach Steve, has been an editor and writer with USA Now considering the fact that 1999. He spent ten years coaching his two sons’ baseball and basketball teams. He and his wife, Colleen, are now loving life as sports parents for a higher schooler and middle schooler.

By Editor

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