What to do when your child wants to pursue a little-known sport as career choice

Even now, most of the Indian guardians don't encourage their children to take any sport as their career choice, especially if big money is not involved in that particular sport. This attitude is wrong and causes premature end of sporting life of many meritorious sportspersons. This article discusses what should the parents do if their children want to pursue a career in sports.

India is not known as a sports-loving nation. Indian guardians are extremely reluctant to allow their children to become sportspersons. Most of the guardians are not convinced that sport can be an effective career for young men and women. At the same time, unlike the USA, Russia, China or other developed countries, the Central and State Government in India don't have comprehensive and holistic schemes for looking after and overall development of a young sportsperson.

Of late, some of the sports like cricket, football and tennis, have become lucrative, because good players can earn a lot from these sports. So, some of the guardians are reluctantly allowing their children to try their luck in these sports discipline. However, even now, if a child gets interested in other lesser known sports or those sports which are not financially rewarding, the parents don't encourage the child. This article deals with the issue of parental behaviour when a child wants to pursue a lesser-known sport.

Parents, first change your own mindset

Indian parents generally don't encourage their children to take any sport as their career choice, barring a few exceptions. But this mindset must be changed. The parents must remember that not all children excel in academics only. Some children may excel in arts and crafts. Some other may excel in sports. The parents must encourage the ability of their children. They must first convince them that it is possible for their children to bring honour for the country, for the state and for himself/herself. The parents must understand that no achievement is less important than the other. The children can make their parents proud not only of their academic achievements but also by the achievements in track and field. Further, the parents must understand that monetary benefit is not everything. They must encourage their children to excel in those sports which they like best. They should not force their children to go for cricket or any other sport which give monetary benefits. Change of the mindset of parents is most important for the children to excel in sports.

Discuss with children and provide them opportunities

Once the parents know that their child is planning to pursue a particular sport as his/her future career, they must discuss the issue with their child in details. They must understand why the child likes that particular sport and more importantly whether this attraction is temporary or permanent. When they are convinced that their child is serious to pursue a particular sport, they must provide opportunities and necessary equipment to their child, just like the parents provide facilities to their child for academic excellence. The parents must provide for their sports-loving children to the best of their ability.

Check their progress and encourage them

Responsible parents take keen interest in the study of their children. They inquire about their progress and the difficulties which they face. Similarly, parents must check the progress of their child/children actively engaged in a sport. They must check their progress and inquire about the difficulties. Just like parents meet teachers of the children, the parents must meet the coaches of their children and inquire about the progress of their children in the sports-disciplines in which they are engaged. The parents must encourage their children and provide mental support during the crucial moments like important competition or during the injury which they may face during their career.

Don't discourage girl-child

Some parents reluctantly allow their male-child to take any sport as his career. But, unfortunately, in India, participation in sports by girls is still a taboo among many parents. The parents must get out of this mindset and they must provide equal opportunity to their girl-child (children) so that they can excel in sports. Parents, please remember that if your daughter gets proper facilities and training, she can also become a Saina Nehwal or a Swapna Burman in future. Encourage your girl-child to excel in sports.

But impress that a minimum level of education is necessary

Although the boy/girl may not be interested in academics and want to excel in the sport of his/her choice, the parents must also convince them that minimum level of education is a necessity. That is because after their youth, these sportsmen must have to do something for the living. At that time, the education would be necessary. The parents must teach them that although the sports are the first priority of their life, they must have education at least upto Graduation level for their own future. The balancing of sports & games and education will have to be done by the parents.

Summing up

The parents must change their mindset and encourage those children who want to excel in sports. They must not think whether that particular sport can help their children earn huge amount of money, or not. The children must be encouraged to pursue that particular sport which they love. They must be provided with all facilities, encouraged and be given moral and emotional support, irrespective of their gender. Only then, these young men and women would bring laurels for the country and make their parents proud.

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Author: Reena Upadhya29 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

The author deserves a lot of appreciation for this article as he has chosen a very interesting topic. Parents find it difficult to be realistic so as to offer encouragement to their children when their children decide to enter a little-known sports career. Though their dreams might be big, parents know it in their hearts that it is difficult. They know that the chances of success are low as the sport is not very well known. Simple thing is that they don't have any faith as they know that the job arena is tough. Thus, they want their kids to choose from the very familiar streams such as doctor or engineer. They are rather pessimistic when they hear that their kids want to make a career in sports and that too which is not very well known. Some of them do not want to dishearten their kids and thus they agree.

Encourage your kids no matter what they want to do in their lives and let the encouragement come from the heart. Encouragement offered with words is not going to help them in any way. Success is certain if hard work is in progress. Forget about the not so popular reputation that the sport has earned in all these years. Let them focus and give in the best possible efforts. The valuable skills will help them shine in the area they choose. Talk to your kid about the pay that they can expect when they enter their chosen career. Let them know the kind of sacrifice they need to make and adapt to the salary that they will be offered. Let them know the other options that are open to them that they can indulge in to supplement the income.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha29 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

The author has presented an article on a lesser known area, at least in our country. The parents want that their kids should resort to studies so that they can make a better headway in this field and that only with their sheer involvement in studies can their career options be widened.
The parents should be far-sighted in their approach by emphasizing the value of studies and at the same time nurturing them for adopting the games of their own liking. Their involvement in the chosen field would ultimately bring them name and fame if pursued regularly.

Author: Sanjeev Gupta30 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

A nice article was written by the author. This is the fact parents don't allow their kids to make little-known sports as a career. This is the reason why we get fewer medals in Olympics and Asiad. Even the countries which are less populated then ours win more medals than us. That's the reason we have very few females who emerge as a winner. Latest ones are Mary Kom, Hima Das and others who made us proud.

This is a dilemma that still we don't allow a girl to make sports as a career. That's the reason we have heavy competition in sports like cricket whereas drought of players in sports like gymnastics, table-tennis, swimming and many others. Actually, this is not a fault of parents as they know their kids won't earn much in lesser-known sports. To improve the situation the govt should take some action and other than cricket other sports should also be given some importance and perks of players of other sports should be increased so that others may get motivated by it.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao07 Nov 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 6

A very good article with a good analysis of various related issues. In our country, many parents feel that their child should become either a doctor or an engineer. From the starting of their education, they start giving advises to their children in this direction. They will never encourage the children to concentrate on the extracurricular activities. But it is not at all advisable. The interest of the child is more important than our aspirations. This point should be kept in mind by all the parents. Once the child is having an interest in a particular activity, if parents see that necessary guidance and training is given to them in that line, there is every chance to the child to excel. Instead of that if we force our interest on them either he can stop learning or he can't concentrate fully. This will spoil his future.
My appreciations to the author for his thorough knowledge and the way he has presented the subject.

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