Want Your Child To Be a Top Athlete? They may need to back off on sports.

Alison Escalante MD
7 min readNov 16, 2019

One beautiful summer day, I was sitting by the pool watching our kids at swim practice. As usual, we moms were talking about life, our summer plans, and our kids. One of the moms started telling us about her high schooler, the state champion swimmer. She shared how busy he was going to events where college recruiters might take notice.

Then someone turned to me and asked, “Didn’t you get recruited for your college team?” I did. We started talking about fencing, and my Division 1 college team. “Have you started your boys in fencing yet?” she asked. That’s when my mom anxiety went into overdrive. Why hadn’t I started my boys with fencing? Wasn’t that the only sport where our family might have a genetic advantage? What if they missed out on their chance?

An hour later I was online doing research. I found a respected fencing coach from the city who was giving weekly classes in our area. I signed the boys up, in hopes that they would fall in love.

Young boy plays soccer.
Photo by Alyssa Ledesma on Unsplash

Parent anxiety and youth sports.

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Alison Escalante MD

How can we take effective action under pressure? Forbes Contributor | TEDx Speaker | Pediatrician | PsychToday | ShouldStorm.com