How to Raise an Every-Day Olympian, Part 1

Feb 10, 2014 by


This last week, Jim and I watched a special on TV called, “How to Raise an Olympian” (NBC, 2/5/14) There are probably a dozen blogs Jim and I could write based on that 1-hour program. It was filled with so many wonderful values-based principles.

There are very few Olympic athletes in comparison to all athletes. They are the elite. So I want to just look today at an overview of how to raise an Every-Day Olympian.

First, setting aside an Olympian’s high athleticism, what does it take in their character to become an Olympic athlete?

Vision: The athletes that have made it to the Olympics had a goal in mind – to be the very best in their sport. They truly see themselves as winning the gold medal and nothing less. That goal is what keeps them focused.

Passion: They love what they do. They would do it every moment of every day if they could. And when they are not physically doing their sport, they are thinking about it, studying it, preparing for it. Their passion is what drives them.

Hard Work: The hours of hard work on their sport requires a tremendous amount of commitment. You can’t just wake up one day and decide to be in the Olympics. You commit years of practice and pain to reach that level. There are hours upon hours of mindless drills to perfect. You spend time watching video of yourself and critiquing your technique to make one minor adjustment just to improve your final outcome and maybe, just maybe give you an edge up on the other competitors. Their hard work is what makes them better.olympic torch

Family Love and Support: Time and time again, Olympic athletes give credit for their success to the love and support they have received from their family. An Olympian is raised in a “can do” home. The attitude that their parents established was one of trying and not giving up. That anything is possible. And Olympians know that their parents and family believe in them and will help them achieve whatever they set their heart’s focus to do. Family love and support defines an Olympian.

Sacrifice: Anything you want to do well takes sacrifice and Olympians are definitely no exception. They put in hours and hours of practice. To do that they have to give us a lot of the usually social life activities. Many of them must even move away from home and family to live where they can be properly trained. And their families sacrifice a lot too – time with their Olympian, money, time and travel. The whole family must work together to help their Olympian reach their goal. Their sacrifice sets them apart.

These are just a few of the many characteristics of an Olympian. On Thursday, we will look at how we can raise our Every-Day Olympians based on these same values.

~Jim and Jerolyn

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