As I have stated before, I understand there are a lot of younger people in the room reading this posts we are making day in and day out. So not only are we extremely careful when it comes to the type of advice we offer, but we also make sure the topics are somewhat relevant even to teenager. A lot is happening in your lives right now with all the world events and everything you read on the news. Of course I am strictly talking about athletics – let’s leave politics out of this.
So today we just wanted to discuss briefly with you (and maybe this is more for parents but anyway) the kind of influence mega athletes have on young people. A child has pretty much 2 types of idols when growing up: the actor/singer and the athlete. There is nothing in between, and in most cases children don’t even look up to their own parents (that is disturbing and says a lot about parents, but that is a different story.)The point being that the influence is so great that can have a negative effect. Do you remember when you were in the candy shop and asked from your child to not speak to strangers because they may influence him/her? Well…guess what: as long as you have that TV or computer on, you are inviting that stranger into your own house. And of course you can’t/you shouldn’t shut down those devices, but you also need to understand that there are more ways for your child to be harmed, than talking to someone random on the street.
Unfortunately, the influence these mega idols have is great and they know it. If they use that influence to sell product, that is not big deal. In most cases children use common sense (I want to believe) and know what’s good for them or not. Also the younger population is getting smarter and smarter (at least book smart) as the generations go on. So they should be able to discuss it with their teachers, and whether some specific “balance product” actually works or not. Of course there will be cases where teachers will be misdirect them but again: that is for some other time (you can read an example here.) Most of the times the kind of negative influence athletes can have on our children, has to do with the mentality and ideology they put into them. Many of them, use their success as an example for kids not to study hard in school and work hard in their out of school projects. They say something in the lines of “look at me, I didn’t need school to get me that Porsche parked outside.” Well, if you look in most cases (at least in the NFL and the NBA) most of these athletes got to the point they are at, through colleges. Many times they even got college scholarships to join these programs. So although I would urge someone with a talent in some sport to pursue it, at the same time I wouldn’t ask them to leave their studies behind. On top of that, you don’t want to be a successful uneducated football players. You can be both a very good athlete, and a well rounded person. So those are mostly the dangers I would be scared of.
Drug problems and drug concerns don’t rise as much when it comes to athletics because we all know that these performers don’t do them (at least the cocaine and heroin drugs.) Also if they say something stupid on TV, they may get fired. So when it comes to substances, I feel pretty much safe when it comes to sports. But ideology sometimes is even more destructive than alcohol or drug abuse. It can pretty much poison the brains of your youth and that reflects the type of society we and our children live in. My recommendation to parent and young children would be, idolize an athlete for their sport abilities and athletic performance but that’s pretty much it. Use their advice when it comes to using certain products (especially after medical consideration) but don’t buy into the crap they say. Most of these athletes are being paid to say this anyway lots of money, either because there is a motivational speaker behind it, or because of a brand these athletes own by themselves.
Keep your ears and eyes open, but don’t shut your brain in the process. If you want more interesting stories to read, make sure you do so here. Also if you have any questions, you know where to reach us.