Every parent agrees that their own child has the ability to become whatever they wish to be. Every parent has probably wondered if their child has the ability to be the next American Olympic star. Turns out, making an Olympic athlete is a lot more challenging than you would think. There is no recipe that creates success, and a lot of the selection process is a combination of training, natural talent, and luck.
Although there is no defined rule book or guide to becoming an Olympian, there is however, a general series of steps to reach a point of success.
With the 2018 Winter Olympics a little less than two weeks away, it is easy to fall into the competitive spirit. When thinking about if your child could be an Olympian, the best thing you can do is introduce them to a large range of sports. Children will be able to find out what they are good at or whether sports is not their favorite activity. You will often be able to tell if your child has a natural inclination for a sport, if you yourself played the sport when you were young. Much of the advantages in sports comes from genetic inheritance such as height, weight, and coordination. For example, a tall family will likely have children that are good at volleyball and basketball; whereas shorter families will have children better at sports such as gymnastics and wrestling.
Picking a Sport
It is important when your child finds a sport they enjoy that you don’t pressure them too much to become serious about the sport. When children feel pressured by their parents, they are less likely to enjoy the sport — this often means they will quit prematurely.
Your child will often pick a sport they enjoy, and it’s your job as a parent to encourage their wishes. It is difficult to raise an athlete because you never want to add too much pressure onto your child. Even if you aren’t happy with their choice of sport or how long the road to the Olympics will be, you must support them.
It’s also a good idea not to include sports too much into their home life. Children who train constantly can be overwhelmed and need to feel grounded at home. As a parent, you should make sure that your child is socializing and doing everyday activities regularly.
It is best to start training your child when they are young, anywhere from two to five-years-old. Though this may seem young, a statistic reported that Olympians need to train anywhere from eight to nine years before they have full mastery of their sport. Because of this almost 10-year training period, the earlier they find their sport, the better.
Olympians dedicate thousands of hours to their sport from the time they start training, to the end of their competitive career. As children, athletes spend 250 hours a year. As young teens, young athletes will spend almost 600 hours dedicated to their sport. The older they develop into their teens, competitors will devote themselves entirely to their sport, spending 1100 hours a year training. Not only is training mandatory, but friendly competition with fellow American athletes is a must. In a statistic published, very few people actually become Olympic athletes. In fact, only 1 in 30,000 basketball and tennis competitors make it to the Olympics.
With all the time spent training, there are sacrifices that have to be made. Because so many hours are devoted to training, it is rare that athletes get to go and play at school or hang out with their friends. Many athletes have to be homeschooled, as their schedules won’t allow them to both train and attend regular school hours.
Training, paying for a coach, uniforms, equipment, and travel all add up, which can be devastating for a family. It is averaged that a competitive gymnast with training for five years can account for $120,000 dollars in expenses. Two-time gold winner Simone Biles, has had financial difficulty in her family due to her dreams. In fact, in 2012 her mother had to file for bankruptcy due to crushing expenses. Though the sacrifices are great, families continue to cheer on their athletes to one day reach the Olympics. The games are an incredible event that brings all nations together to compete. In many ways it is an honor to represent your country and perform the sport you love and train for. That is why, when asked about their financial difficulty, the Biles Family don’t regret any decisions.
At Rebounderz, we encourage all children to enjoy sports and strive to be the best that they can be. At our indoor trampoline park, we give aspiring gymnasts a trampoline arena to utilize and a trampoline basketball court for young basketball stars to practice their moves. Your local Rebounderz is a great place to take your kids and expose them to the incredible world of sport. Who knows, maybe they will find a sport they really enjoy and dream of being an Olympic athlete! It is important for our business to help inspire children to enjoy sports, so if you believe that your child could benefit from a day of sports and motivation, bring them by your Apopka, Florida, Rebounderz! Contact our park staff today!