So said my son after a conversation we had recently about his goaltending lessons.
He is doing some private lessons this summer to keep from getting too rusty and really likes his coach. He thinks this coach is fun and he responds well to him. The result? He works his butt off for this guy.
We’ve been talking about working hard and how that is more fun than “phoning it in.” How when you work hard, you start to notice how you are getting better and you have some success, which is much more fun than half-heartedly doing what you are told and not really seeing any benefit. He seems to be getting it.
The other day he was practicing cello (so far removed from hockey but hopefully contributing to a well-rounded child) and we were breaking down a song that he was having some trouble with. We singled out the section that was most troublesome and he practiced the first line, then the second line, then the two combined, finishing with the whole song from the beginning. As he worked on it and heard how he was improving, he exclaimed “This is fun!”
I agree and I am so glad the he is starting to understand that hard work moves you forward and is how you succeed in life.
Now our challenge is to teach him to balance hard work with reasonable expectations and healthy habits. As he approaches puberty and, in the case of our genetics, the “chunkiness” that accompanies it, we are trying to talk more about healthy eating without addressing weight in any way. He is 11 so there is no need, in my mind, to start down that path. But when he suddenly and randomly jumps on the treadmill to run a little, as he did tonight, I have to admit I freak out a bit.
Deep breaths – this whole raising-an-athlete thing is a learning process. There is so much more information out there now then there was when I was growing up and navigating this myself, but that is not a reason to panic! My husband and I both work out regularly so we are already modeling a fairly healthy lifestyle. Some gentle conversations here and there, with some nudging towards less TV/video game time on the couch is reasonable. But our pizza addiction and fairly regular trips to the frozen yogurt place down the street hopefully also teach him that moderation is key.
Balance… isn’t that what we all seek? I’ve just never tried to teach it to anyone before. Perhaps if I had more of if myself, I’d be better at it.
A work in progress, that is what we all are. And always will be.