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Who I amReside in St. Louis Missouri currently, Lived in California & Colorado.Husband.Father.Pastor.Football Enthusiast.Teacher.Learner.Dreamer.Reader.Friend. [thoughts & comments blogged here are my reflections living life trusting Jesus as God]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts on Idolizing Athletes

Growing up playing sports from youth leagues to college as well as having the ability to coach high school football and win a state title I've heard my fair share of statements from parents.  But one statement that has really caught my attention in the last 10 years of being a parent is "Son, that's who you want to be like".  

Now a parent usually makes this statement while watching a favorite player and they are pointing out someone they'd like their son to idolize, to mimic the life of a certain athlete.  Now when i've heard a parent, majority of the time the dad, make this statement they are referring to the pro athletes playing ability.  But how often do these parents forget that their son may also mimic the players personal life?

There is a bit of a reality check that we as parents need to remember that the "great athlete" on the field may have a horrible character off the field.  It's interesting that we would encourage our children to model their life after a person we don't even know outside of their jersey number.  99% of us who watch professional sports from a couch or a stadium seat will never know that famous athlete we are pointing out to our kids.  Yes, we may get an autograph from them, but will we have them over to our house for a meal to talk about life?  Will we share life with them to know their character enough to trust our kids with them?

How often do we hear about famous athletes having an affair, drugs or alcohol abuse issues, driving related accidents and others?  When they happen do we use those public moments to help our children see how poor choices have a huge ramification in our lives?  If we as parents want to find our sons & daughters an athletic role model we need to be sure that we are able to handle the tough situations if they arise of a fall from grace.  

Encouraging our children to idolize someone just because they "made it pro" or get certain athletic accolades may set our kids up for more failure than success.  Maybe we need to help our kids idolize people that'll breathe life into them so their character is what grows & not just their athletic ego.  Maybe we help our kids idolize someone who can actually come over for dinner and we can share life with?


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