It’s tough being an athlete. And I’m not talking about for professionals; I’m talking about for kids. The expectations today’s society puts on young athletes are crazy. I’ve listened to parents and coaches berate kids for mistakes that are just that…mistakes. No one is perfect. My husband rolls his eyes when I remind him and my kids, “Even the pro’s make mistakes.”

As a coach and a parent I am no Saint. I get frustrated when my kids don’t do the things I know they can do. But I try my best to look at the big picture.

Two weeks ago I played out of my head and scored twenty points in my basketball game. Last week I stunk. I couldn’t hit a shot, threw the ball away and made a lot of stupid mistakes. I wanted to throw my hands up and cry but I’ve learned from my years on the court to dig deep and keep on going. It’s hard for an experienced athlete to make it through the tough games and to remember what all good athletes eventually learn: No one is perfect, just…NEVER GIVE UP.

Young athletes need encouragement and support. Expect them to push themselves and work hard. Don’t expect them to be perfect.