The Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are on Friday night. It seems that the years in between the Games just fly by! Do you remember watching your first Olympic games as a child? The awe that these athletes inspired in you? The pride that welled up in your chest when you saw your country’s flag on the podium? As we get older, the Olympics still inspire us but we often forget just how magical they can be to a child.
Elite athletes can be so inspirational because they make their chosen sport seem almost effortless. In reality, most of our children will not become professional or world class athletes, but there are great life lessons they can learn from athletes and sports in general. What a great opportunity to come together as a family and enjoy the spirit of the Olympic Games! Here are some lessons you can discuss with your kids over the next three weeks as you watch the world’s best compete:
- Positive attitude – A huge factor in an athlete’s success is their “I can” attitude and positive mental state. Whether it’s Little League baseball or conquering math problems, a positive attitude goes a long way!
- Strong work ethic – There is a reason the saying is, “Hard work pays off!”
- Healthy food choices – Athletes know how to make food choices that will fuel their body. Help your kids understand why this is so important for a day of fun at the park, learning in school or their athletic pursuit.
- Good sleep habits – Athlete or not, one cannot perform at their best without a good night’s sleep. This is a great conversation to bring up when your child is fighting the bedtime routine.
- Overcoming adversity – No doubt there will be many teaching moments of athletes overcoming adversity during the Games. We all know that with lifes ups and downs comes adversities, so this is an essential lesson to be taught.
- Good sportsmanship – Obviously, not every athlete will win a medal. Be sure to highlight those athletes that not only handle defeat with grace, but who also are able to express gratitude for the opportunity to represent their sport and their country on one of the world’s biggest stages.
- Teamwork – Whether it be a sports team or your workplace down the road, being able to work well with others is vital! Discuss camaraderie, group cohesiveness and the excitement and benefits of working together towards a common goal!
We hope all kids strive to be the very best in all parts of their lives! Here’s to an exciting and thrilling three weeks ahead! Best of luck to all the athletes in Sochi!