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Regardless Of Pro Dreams, Parents Should Focus On Life Lessons

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A PCA-Phoenix Board Member, Mike Nealy (@mjnealy) is the Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl, serving Phoenix and its surrounding communities with college football bowl games since 1971. The Fiesta Bowl was part of the Bowl Championship Series for years and is now a part of the College Football Playoff. Before guiding the Fiesta Bowl efforts, Nealy spent 8 years with the Phoenix (Arizona) Coyotes, leading the organization to record breaking sales and operating successes as President and COO of the team.

Many youth athletes dream of playing professionally, but parents should focus on things they can control like life lessons. Nealy suggests in this clip that rather than parents kill the professional aspirations of their kids, they focus on raising a child who simply loves to play sports.

Teaching kids valuable life lessons and supporting them through their sport is a better focus for parents. It's great if they defy all odds and become a professional athlete, but parents and coaches should not glorify players and push them to the point where enjoyment in youth sports stops. If an athlete truly wants to play professionally, their own hard work and motivation will give them the best shot, not pressure from their parents.