Mikaela Shiffrin is the youngest American skier to be a World Cup Champion and a gold medal favorite in Sochi. This article by Bill Pennington of the New York Times has some amazing insights that all parents can apply to their aspiring superstars.
Perhaps my favorite quote from the article was this one by her father.
“She truly believed that the focus should be on the process of getting better and not race results. She does that to this day. Everyone on the World Cup says they want to race like they practice, but how many actually do it? Mikaela can because she’s not thinking about trying to win. She’s thinking about getting better.”
This is very hard to do in golf but I truly believe that the best in the world do this. They don’t look and compare themselves to everyone else. They simply focus on trying to beat their best performance and figure out ways to do it. This is especially true of last years’ Rookie of the Year, Jordan Spieth, who is off to another great start this year. Jordan has true ownership of his skill development process, which allows him to innovate and test himself on a daily basis. There is no one size fits all approach to greatness. Let your kids grow at their own pace, and create an environment that allows them to succeed and drive their improvement process.