Parents with teenage athletes - this one is for you! I sat down with my mum Leone, and we discussed the challenges raising my brother and I, both elite athletes, when we were at high school. Here's what she said!
Leone: At high school, you were this driven determined, over motivated girl. It was like we couldn't stop you and that determination and motivation and stubbornness and pigheadedness has got you a long way in sport. I knew that one day it would be a good thing, but it was very frustrating trying to manage that, and you wouldn't listen to us as parents, which is really normal.
Brooke: Sometimes I would!! I knew deep down what you were saying was was right, but then I had different priorities.
Leone: Yeah. I could see the big picture. I could see that you didn't have to succeed or win at everything and you didn't have to get excellent grades. You'd be exhausted. You'd be overworked, you'd be dead on your feet and you'd still say, "I have to go to school" and I would just go, "you really, really don't. I want you to stay home."
Brooke: Can we just talk about this because I clearly remember you doing this more than once!
Leone: Oh, lot of times you would just overrule me. "No I have to, I've got this chemistry" and whatever it was. "I have to go, I've got an assessment." And because I was a teacher, I knew, well the world didn't end, you didn't have to do every single assessment. You didn't have to get 200 credits. I knew that you could actually go, "you know what, I've had four trainings this week and I'm absolutely exhausted. I'm going to sit this one out." And so I sort of was in the background trying to manage your energy. So that was a challenge. I know at certain times there were a lot of people pulling you in all directions as well. So that was frustrating for me to see that. There were coaches, there were teachers making unrealistic demands on your time.
Brooke: Yeah. And you made me see that everyone thinks that their thing that they want me to do is the most important. So that must've been quite frustrating to sit and watch that happening.
Leone: Yeah. So that was a challenge. The other major challenge, which we could see coming, was you actually were quite good, more than quite good, at a lot of things. You had dancing, you had cheerleading, your academics weren't too bad, your hockey was getting better and better. You were good at a lot of stuff I mean, you could've even been a teacher. You could have really gone in a lot of directions, and it seems like a nice problem to have. But it was like you really had no clear direction. You were trying to achieve highly at everything, and when you get to year 13, it's a time where you actually need to say, right, this is the direction I'm going in. But you had no clue.
I'll be releasing more of our conversation in the following weeks, including her lessons and learnings which I know will help some parents out there.
Parents- for extra guidance, learn more about my online course and enrol your daughter! www.brookeneal.co.nz/onlinecourse