Are you a BIG Fish in a SMALL pond?
Towns across America have youth athletes that excel at a young age. Sometimes the talent is there while other times it’s because they are simply bigger than the competition UNTIL the hormones kick in and others catch up. Other times, it’s a combination of talent & size mixed with a willingness to win that separates that young athlete from the competition. In these situations one of a few things occurs.
- Complacency which can lead to a decreased drive to work and improve at their sport.
- Boredom which might lead to dropping the sport all together.
- A drive to be pushed harder and find another area/team with other BIG FISH so the skill level can continue to be improved.
As parents, we want to applaud success while making sure they realize the world is a big place and if you want to be the best, you have to push yourself further than you can imagine. Some youth athletes want to just have fun. Others might want to pursue playing beyond their youth and even professionally. Both avenues are great, it comes down to what is right for that young person and being supportive throughout the process.
Sometimes I’m bothered at the ignorance of parents who think Little Johnny or Suzie are the best thing since sliced bread and they pump their child with those falsehoods only to be disappointed when they venture outside of their comfort zone and play schools of BIG FISH. At the end of the day, we need to support our children’s aspirations while at the same time keeping them grounded to an extent so drive can be inspired to reach limits they once thought unobtainable.
Click Here to Hear Ashley Burkhardt’s thoughts on this topic. Ashley is a former Division I & Pro Softball Player from Indiana who faced being the Big Fish in a Small Pond and she shares how she handled that situation.