How great parents make great athletes

This was a good morning for being a dad up early reading stuff on the internet and watching the sun rise. Also for coffee, but then every morning is great for coffee.

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time skiing, hiking, climbing and riding bikes with my dad. This is of course after we got past all the baseball, soccer, basketball and other team sports which I had absolutely no interest in. It was a good experience, but one that ultimately paled in comparison to the one on one, individual activities that you do in the back country, with no bleachers, hot dog stands or guys in blue or stripes telling you you’re doing it wrong. I loved it, love it still and love getting my son stoked on fun things to do outside. Today I ran across two things that reaffirm my philosophy on sports, sportsmanship and active lifestyle with my family.

Climbing with dad

Love for adventure and the outdoors starts at an early age. There are great climbers and skiers who started on their own when they discovered the back country after they left the nest, but the inertia of city life is much easier to overcome if you get moving early. Here’s the story of how world class rock climber and Patagonia athlete Tommy Caldwell got his start in rock climbing with adventures with his dad as a young boy.

Making Tommy from Patagonia on Vimeo.

When Tommy Caldwell’s dad took him up the Twin Owls to fly his kite at age three, a lifelong obsession was born. In the ensuing decades, Caldwell’s attitude, hard work and determination – even through harrowing circumstances – have helped him become one of the world’s greatest rock climbers. A glimpse into the experiences, obstacles and ongoing progression of Tommy Caldwell.

Ted Ligety and Sportsmanship

Good Sportmanship and ski racer ted ligetyGreat article in Adventure Journal about the importance of kids having heroes who embody the values of healthy competitiveness, good sportsmanship and athletic greatness like Skier Ted Ligety. The article also goes into how Ligety’s parents and coaching made the most difference in shaping the racer he became.

Last summer I asked Ted Ligety about what or who instilled his sense of sportsmanship. “My parents I guess,” he grinned, adding, “I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have kept paying for me to do this if I was a jerk.” Note that these parents are not obsessed with outcomes and even if they’d had the opportunity, I doubt they would have tweeted or posted their kids’ results. Read More

-Mike

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