It’s that time of year when colleges and universities are sending out acceptance letters. As a parent, you understand that some colleges and athletic programs may be out of your student’s reach. You understand that some programs even enjoy rejecting student-athletes because it makes their selection process lucrative. Therefore, you are feeling the anxiety that comes with knowing that your child might very well experience rejection soon. You hope for a thick envelope instead of a thin one. You want to reach out and protect your child from this potential disappointment.
Instead, take your cue from the great coaches who teach valuable life lessons through sports. Take this opportunity to teach your child that success doesn’t come easily, that competition is an opportunity to display resilience and grit, and that even failure is an invitation to grow.
For instance, Mitch Albom stated in his March 8, 2020 column in the Detroit Free Press:
“A little rejection is actually healthy… and you will survive. And maybe do better as a result. Which means a college rejection may be the first push in your life that didn’t come sugarcoated by your parents. See what you can do with it.”
Coaches and athletic departments demand more than just a talented athlete or a superb student. They also want a student who can persevere when they are up against adversity.