“A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves. I struck gold with my parents. They want me to experience life and do the things that I want, but in a smart way. I have their support in all that I do but they do hold expectations. I appreciate them trusting me, and it makes me not want to let them down. We don’t make mistakes. We experience life.”
— Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director.
Trey is going out for tackle football and I have to say that I’m scared for him. But why should I be? I played football myself. Maybe that’s the exact reason why I’m scared for him. He played flag football last year and he immediately wanted to play tackle football.
Tackle football is a whole new animal.
Many people think that it’s all about who’s the fastest and who hits the hardest but it’s really about who has the right mindset before all of that. I’ve see the biggest and fastest athletes become chickens when it comes to getting hit on the football field. Contrary to that, I’ve seen the little guys be the most tenacious and fiercest and most respected guys on the gridiron.
So where does my fear stem from? Part of it is a parental fear. I know how rough football can be. It’s a sport of attrition. If you’re not in the right mindset, you will end up getting your ass kicked and you’ll never want to step foot back onto the football field.
You will be hurt and/or injured all season long. You will never feel 100% or even 80%. If you play the game right, you’ll be lucky if you feel 20% by the end of the season. I the championship game, it’s sheer will. Everyone’s injured. Everyone’s broken down. It’s just a matter of who wants it more at that point.
But tackle football is no joke. This is serious business. This isn’t someone ripping a flag off your belt and then go back and play another down. Tackle football is bodies crashing into each other at top speed.
So part of my fear comes from the parental aspect in regards to is he ready for that kind of physicality. Not is he ready for it physically but is he ready for it mentally. Football is mental before its physical. Most guys overdevelop the physical side and neglect the mental side.
The other part of my fear stems from what if he gets more than just hurt? What if he breaks bones or worst yet, messes himself up completely? Yikes. In my mind, I’m simply not prepared for all of that.
But a funny thing happened to me when he said he wanted to play tackle football. I remember when I was in high school. I remember it vividly. It was 1992. I was a freshman in high school and I wanted to play football. I had no organized football sport experience but I played plenty with my friends who were already on the team.
I wanted to play football because I was fast (could run a 4.4 to 4.5 40 yard dash). I also wanted to play defense.
But here’s the biggest reason why: I had pent up anger.
My mom divorced my dad and rightfully so. He was an abusive verbal and physical alcoholic. I wanted to be like (the good side of) him so bad. I idolized my dad.
When my mom divorced him, I definitely approved it. I loved my dad but I didn’t like seeing him get physical with my mom. That shit was not okay.
After the separation, he had visitation to come see us whenever he wanted but he never made an attempt. He didn’t care. It was heartbreaking for me.
So I had pent up anger. LOTS OF IT.
And where could I use this speed and anger to hit people? FOOTBALL.
When I told my mom that I was trying out for the team, she immediately shut it down. She was deathly afraid of the same things that I mentioned above. She scared me so bad that her fears became my fears and it scared me to the point that I never stepped foot on a football field.
The problem was, I knew I was good and knew I could play but I allowed my mom’s fears to become mine. What I needed was a good dad to step in and say, don’t worry babe. Let him play. I’ll teach him the right way to play and how to be great.
I just needed an outlet to release the anger and aggression and I felt that football was the right outlet. Underneath it all, I was passionate about playing the game. Long before my dad became the motivating factor out of spite, I was always big on contact sports. I loved defense in any and every sport. Perhaps it’s because I loved to impose my will. I loved to mentally dominate and break the opponent down. I loved the battle and I loved to inflict pain when it came to sports.
Yes. That was my mindset.
My mom didn’t see how that was helpful. And I guess, rightfully so (in her mind).
Fast forward to Trey asking me to play tackle football and my fears immediately come rushing back. Only this time I am the dad that has the power to say, don’t worry babe. Let him play. I’ll teach him the right way to play and how to be great.
So that’s what I did. Michelle signed me up to coach Trey’s 3rd/4th grade football team and we began training camp this week. The only unfortunate thing is that I can’t be there for the first week because I’m out of town working a job.
But I do have assistant coaches who are picking up the slack and they say Trey is a natural and is picking up the game fairly quickly.
I realized as a parent, that we have many fears that are triggered below the surface of our superhero facade. These fears are natural parental instincts that kick in to make sure that our kids are safe and don’t receive harm.
But sometimes we need to learn to step back and allow our kids to have their own experience and not our experiences.
It’s a hard thing to deal with because you’re essentially sending them into the lion’s den and you don’t think they’re ready. But then they surprise you and they show you that they’ve been ready. They’re just waiting for their opportunity.
Fred is currently putting together a program for students of all ages. This revolutionary program helps kids of all ages maximize and focus on their strengths to improve confidence and mindset in areas that need improvement. The philosophy of the #1 Mindset which is that no one’s made with weaknesses and there are no accidents. We’re all made on purpose for a purpose and our purpose lies in our strengths.
Be watchful for two programs that :
Go to https://www.therealfredlee.com/ for more information on these two programs!
Fred is a proud married father of four beautiful children. He’s worked in the school district for over a decade and has extensive knowledge on student behavior in the regular and special education sectors. Fred Blumenberg is a #1 Entrepreneur Mindset Coach who gets entrepreneurs to hyper-focus on monetizing their strengths to achieve greatness.
All articles on Medium.com will be towards helping parents who adopt the philosophy of the #1 Mindset — which is that no one’s made with weaknesses and there are no accidents.
Contact Fred Blumenberg today by chatting with him via the website:https://www.therealfredlee.com/