Raise a child 1st, athlete 2nd

Report card more important than scoreboard.

In recent times, I have come to notice a disturbing trend among some parents of young superstar athletes.

These parents have somehow managed to blur the lines between being a parent and being a superfan of their athletically-gifted child.

Most can quickly recite stories of every move little Jimmy made before scoring the game winner, the incredible crossover before the amazing dunk or what the wind gauge reading was when he ran his new personal best.

Yet many cannot tell me what subjects their champion is taking at school this semester or have no idea that their future pro is struggling with math or science.

These same parents anxiously book off time at work to attend tournaments but miss parent-teacher interviews at school. Many will even offer a financial reward for goals scored and outfit their superstar with the latest athletic gear, but won’t invest in the services of a tutor.

This mentality will typically come to a head when the discussion about athletic scholarship arises.

I like to say the term is student-athlete not athlete-student. Unfortunately, you cannot progress to the post-secondary level in any sport without taking care of business in the classroom. Far too often, some of the great high school talents are limited in their post-secondary options because of poor results in the classroom.

While it's great to support your child and make all the sacrifices for them to succeed on the field, gym or track, I am a firm believer that the same enthusiasm and attention from a parent toward their child’s academics can yield outstanding results in the classroom.

I would like to challenge those hockey, track, soccer and other sports moms and dads out there to get as excited about the report card as you do about the scoreboard.

Worry more about exam time than playing time. Get to know his teachers as well as you know his coaches.

Remember, as parents, our job is to raise a child, not an athlete.