Tomorrow I will be heading to CA to watch, coach and ENCOURAGE my teammates at Kids Pan Ams! I'm excited to see them compete but, as any of us who have attended a "kids" tournament (or any kids competition) know, it can
be filled with angry parents, tears, and intense rivalry between children that should be having a great time and enjoying Jiu Jitsu! Don't get me wrong, that does exist too! There are some amazing BJJ parents and coaches who do allow their kids to have fun and enjoy competition.
Competition is a beautiful thing in most cases. When it comes to Adult BJJ tournaments or a good football game, I’m all up for competition thriving like crazy. With kids, its another story. It can get quite UGLY!
I could sit here and tell you how smart and talented my kids are. I could brag about how my 9 year old is starting calculus, my 20 year old could clear a triple jump on his dirt bike when he was 6 and my 5 year old grandson can name EVERY super hero that exists. I mean, these are my kids after all- they should be doing amazing things right? Like most parent I consider my children to be the smartest, most athletic, beautiful children in the world. We ALL feel this way about our children (as we should) but, we can’t push them into a mold of who we think they should be or to use whatever talents we see in them. Encourage them when they do well, and when they might not be the best at something, encourage them anyway.
Kids can only handle the world in tiny bites, As parents, it is our responsibility to encourage them and allow them to grow. The operative word there is to ALLOW.
These kids train hard and this should be their time to show off what they have learned. They should respect their competition, win or lose! And learn from their experience, not beat them selves up because they lost. They should know that JUST getting out there to compete is a HUGE accomplishment that takes a lot of guts and we should be proud of them for that!
GOOD LUCK KIDS and have FUN!