One of the hardest things to do as the parent of an athlete is to keep your eye on the big picture. Success in sports does not come down to one meet, one game, one competition, or one race. Success in sports is the culmination of the journey your athlete takes over the course of many years – the highs, the lows, the struggles, the lessons learned, friendships made, and all the other little events that help define your athlete's career.
With that being said, why as parents (and sometimes athletes) do we have such a hard time dealing with our athlete missing one competition or for that matter having a less than stellar performance at one competition? How about an entire season? In my opinion, it is so easy to get caught up in the hype of it all.
Sure it is disappointing to have your athlete miss the big game, but tomorrow is a new day in the journey your athlete will take. Think back to your own childhood – was there any one event that was so critical that it redefined you as a person? Probably not.
Imagine the disappointment some of the Olympians felt this summer when they had to scratch from the biggest meet of their lives or didn't have the performance they spent all these years training for. Hard to deal with at the moment – sure – but in the end did it change who they were? No – because we all know Alicia Sacramone is still one of the best vaulters in the world and she will go on to have a very successful adult life thanks to all the life skills she learned from her journey in sports.
Enjoy this journey your athlete is taking – remembering it is a marathon and not a sprint.