Contributing Guest Blogger Dean Batara
Father of Kyra and Dom Batara - Level 4 Ambassadors
A Family That Competes
As parents of two competitive athletes in MMA Training, we continually strive to offer our children as many experiences as possible to help them evolve into successful adults, push through adversity, learn from life lessons, while finding passions in life to guide them towards a fulfilling future. The comment that we routinely hear over the years from coaches and parents alike, is how great it is to see the support system we offer to our children and how our commitment to their growth has had such a positive impact on their success. Every parent learns through trial and error what works best for their children to learn and succeed. I am hoping to share our experiences what it's like to be a family that competes.
One valuable lesson I learned as a parent is to give your children as many opportunities to discover their passions. Encouragement is a given, but hearing directly from your child how much they love a particular sport, hobby, or activity on their own, is truly a blessing. I admit, both of our children joined an MMA gym due to my encouragement and we have found great success in competition on and off the mat. It can be difficult for children to find a reason to display commitment and passion to put forth into something that may not always lead to success. Trust me we've been there!
Our children tried out several sports growing up including basketball, soccer, dance, competitive cheer, and track, well before we stumbled upon MMA. Despite the success and lessons they learned from each of these sports, they never really felt the "It just feels natural" moment. We are so grateful to have found that the sport of MMA drives our children to be the best they can be. In retrospect, if we had not given them the opportunity to discover other interests, we would have never known how special their new found passion was until it became a part of their lives.
Additionally, we've also learned that parental involvement must be a standard to sustain long term success. Don't think just because your child finds passion in a sport that you can sit back and relax and the gold medals will magically accumulate every time a competition hits. I am a firm believer that behind the success you see in any "elite" athlete you will find a strong support system from their parents. Committed parents invest countless hours driving to gyms, sitting through practices, attending competition, coaching, volunteering at events, organizing team outings, and participating in fundraising just to name a few.
Parents can also serve as a second set of coaching to continue the training outside of the gym. Committed parents invest additional time and training to coach their children, fine tuning their technique, analyzing their performance, finding weaknesses to work on, evolving their strengths, providing proper nutrition and building their mental game. Parental involvement is necessary to show our passion that we also want to support our children's dreams and share their memories. A family that competes and trains together stays together and success can be obtained by everyone who has put in the time to display passion towards something they love.