Becoming a professional athlete is one of the most lucrative careers in the world. At the top of the world's most famous sports is the opportunity to accumulate generational wealth and celebrity that isn't available in several other careers. So it's no surprise that many parents dream of having their kids make it to the NBA.
But it's not that easy and even elite talent cannot guarantee any player a spot in the league. So when parents push too hard, this can cause issues, something that a lot of players know from their own experiences. Gary Trent, himself an NBA player, who has one son playing at a high level in the NBA and another who is not involved in sports at all, spoke with Kevin Garnett about the issue on his show, KG Certified.
Gary Trent: "The way I teach my kids how to land is, we don't talk about your backup plan. I weave your backup plan in it, without talking about it. By just staying on your neck about your grades and your studies and your education."
Kevin Garnett: "Can parents push too hard?"
Gary Trent: "Parents push too hard. As a coach, I watch parents push too hard because a lot of times in life, when you didn't do something..."
Kevin Garnett: "Parents live it through the child."
Gary Trent: "Parents live it through the child... And a lot of times, like me, I didn't have anybody supporting me or training me like I do my kids. I still made it but... when parents try to do that, you sometimes get to yelling at them wrong, you get to screaming at them..."
Kevin Garnett: "Communicating differently?"
Gary Trent: "Yeah, because you want it more than your child want it. And that’s where I had to accept with my second son. I had to tell his mom, ‘I’m not going to ruin a relationship with my son because he don’t play sports.’ "
Gary Trent Jr. is in the league and is developing very well, averaging 18.2 points per game, so Gary Trent has managed to raise both his children the right way in those terms. This is an important thing for many parents to hear and to remember, as a healthy relationship with your child is worth a lot more than people give it credit for.