Role models are important, even if it’s not a parent


Have you ever watched a sporting event on TV or seen a clip of that player and thought to yourself that you want to be just like them when you grow up? I have. I was watching the Olympics as a kid with my Mom and the gymnastics team came on the screen. I was in awe that this group of girls could do what they were doing. It was magical, I watched the entire thing until it was done. Once it was down I said to myself I wanted to be just like them when I was older so, my mom signed me up for gymnastics. Some background about me, I am not flexible at all, nor did I have any upper body strength but I was determined to be just like the girls on the team. After my first practice, I got in my Moms car and fell directly asleep dreaming about being just like the Olympic gymnasts. 

As a kid, you find people to look up to. If that includes your parents, teachers, or a famous player, it is important to find what you love and stick to it. The idea is that one day you could be a big star and have a life of fame. Having a role model is good and healthy, especially for kids in sports. Parents who serve as role models encourage their kids to be positive rather than being upset, even if that means that they are not their kids’ heroes anymore.

I have seen it firsthand when parents become upset when their kid does not admire them like they used to when it should be celebrated that they are growing up and do not need constant reassurance from their parents because they have an idea of who they want to be. Kids need support, even if that means they want to be signed up for dance class instead of baseball or vice versa. 

Kids notice everything; they notice every move that is made and every word that has been said. They will mimic that behavior, and it will come back to you when they are older because they will have the same negative traits that you do. Sports are different because they do not usually show the negatives but rather the accomplishments of a group and how excited the players are when they are successful. That behavior should and will be mimicked.

Gymnastics never worked out for me. It was not very flexible, so it was difficult to be good. However, I did learn a lot of things including how to treat my teammates and how to cheer when someone accomplishes something. Role models are key, and if I had never seen the gymnastics team, I would have never learned how to incorporate these positive traits I have because I wanted to be just like them.

So parents, be bigger than your kids, let them grow, and learn how to accept that they may want to be anything other than just like you.