Is my child the next Olympic Champion?

So your little Jane or John just loves Judo and looks really good at it, but are they “Good“.
Are they better than average, are they a potential champion?

The short answer is sadly… NO.

Statistically speaking, the odds are severely stacked against your child being a world champion. There are a tiny number of champions and a huge number of people that are not champions. Remember, if the goal is Olympic Gold; then there are only 14 champions every 4 years. Lets look at this closer, if you have a child who is a female 48kg fighter for example, there is only 1 person every 4 years. But there are millions of people doing Judo, so it is unlikely that your child is a future Olympic Champion.

To further dash your hopes, unless you are reading this post from Japan, Korea, China, France or Cuba, the chances are even less likely that your daughter will win a Olympic Gold. Sorry!

So why am I destroying your dreams?

Because you have to be realistic and it may be worth considering not even trying to be a champion! Seriously, every player, parent and coach needs to look at a player and consider the commitment and pain involved in trying to be the best and weigh that against not trying.

Especially as the parent you need to find what is best for your son or daughter in the long-term. Is chasing Olympic gold what is in their best interest? Or should they go to University and become a doctor? Judo is hard and the rewards are few, your son will not be earning millions as a World Champion in Judo. After it’s all over, they’ll need to come back to the world most of us live in and get a job etc.

All that said, your five year old may well have everything it takes to make it!

Until this year, an American woman had never won an Olympic medal in Judo. It would have been easy for Ronda Rousey to decide that there was no point even trying, but she did and she now has a place in Judo history and will forever be the first US woman to win a medal in Olympic Judo history.

Maybe you daughter is going to be the first person to win Olympic gold in judo for your country? Maybe your son will win more World titles than anyone else in History? Maybe they’ll be come a legend in the sport.

If they don’t try they’ll never know.

The awesome legend of Ice Hockey, Wayne Gretzky is credited with the quote:

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

If your child never trys to be their best, they (and you) will never know if they had what it takes to make it.
As a parent, you are concerned with ensuring that your child achieves the absolute best they can in life. Maybe Judo is the area where your child will achieve their greatest accomplishments. Only you and your child can decide that.

So… maybe they are, maybe they are not.
But there are clues you can look for. Some indicators (arguably) that your child will “make it”, are:

They are obsessed/passionate about Judo.
They love the practise as much as the fighting
They practise more and harder than anyone else… without being told to.
They win everything they enter.
They lose everything, but come back for more!
They hate losing.
They train with the best coaches and players in the world.

You’ll notice that there is no physical attributes listed. Being able to do 100 chinups at six years old is not an indicator that your child will win a gold. The mental attributes are often regarded as more important than the physical. And the proof may be the number of champions who have won their title whilst injured.

If you think your child has the seeds of greatness, then talk to their coach. Ask them to realistically assess if your child has potential. Remember the odds are stacked heavily against them being “that good”, but I would say it is almost always worth trying!

Tags: , ,

This entry was posted by LanceW on Monday, November 17th, 2008 at 11:35 am and is filed under Judo . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply