Teaching Children to Strive for Excellence


My nine-year-old daughter, Xayla, is one fast cookie. She plays club soccer with a bunch of boys, and she usually wins when they run sprints. She loves to come in first place. A few days ago a boy joined the team for a strength and conditioning practice. Now, my daughter has played soccer with this boy in the past. He is super athletic and comes from parents blessed by the Athletic Gods. His father played Division 1 basketball on a scholarship and was really good. (That is all I’m going to say about that because I’m not going to even pretend I know what I am talking about when it comes to sports. I’ll leave that to the hubby.)

Anyhow, in the sprints, this boy beat Xayla. Xayla told me that one of the parents (who loves to joke around) told her, “How does it feel to look at the back of someone’s head?” Our family knows him well, so we know he was joking around and not trying to purposefully offend her. She was angry about this. She was not angry about the comment so much, she was angrier that she lost in the sprint.

Xayla told me, “It’s hard to always come in first.” I loved this conversation because it is impossible to always come in first (unless you are Usain Bolt- but with a last name like Bolt…you must come from the Athletic Gods….okay, he has to lose sometimes too). I explained to her that it is a good thing that this boy is coming out and kicking everyone’s butts. Now everyone has a new goal to reach. If she stayed stagnant (and yes, I had to explain what stagnant meant to her), how could she learn and grow? I told her we are on this earth to gain new knowledge, learn, and grow. If we have nothing to strive for, we might as well be dead. Alright, so maybe that was harshly said, but it is the truth! 🙂

Let’s tell our kids that it is okay to come in second (or 50th). Don’t be jealous of the people before you. Instead, keep pushing yourself to strive for excellence. You will learn and grow in the process!





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