by Gomathi RajamEvery famed name and every glaring trophy is an example of a hard-fought tale, travelled through paths that are lesser known with people who are lesser known. Seated on the stands screaming their hearts out in support of their athlete despite the scorching heat or the pouring rain or the parent driving the athlete to various places day in and day out is the closest connotation of the parent of an athlete. Shadowed behind the brighter picture, there are number of sacrifices every parent undertakes to mould their kids into the competitive athlete smashing titles and breaking records. Highly competitive fields such as sports wherein both success and failure is inevitable and influenced, the role of a parent is crucial. The parent has to play multiple roles including that of a mentor, coach and nutritionist at times. Revolving their lives around their young champ and their profession, here are some of the issues every parent of the athlete may face day in and day out. LACK OF SOCIAL LIFE The life of a parent who aims nothing less than wanting their kid to fly high is stuck amidst figuring the best coaching camps to enroll their kid into and the practice, training, tournament schedules of their athlete. They often completely run deficit of time to spend on themselves. They are the parents running late for social events or not even returning calls as their lives completely run around the athlete and their profession and they lack time for their personal and social life. FINANCING Financing the athlete and his/her needs is not many a times as easy as it seems to be. In a competitive world as today, standing above the bar demands excellence in various domains apart from the skill. An athlete needs to be physically, mentally fit and extremely skillful in order to sustain and emerge combative. Though the athletes are sponsored on reaching higher levels, reaching the levels requires huge monetary investments. In addition to the alarming cost of the sporting equipment falls the expenses of quality coaching, training & conditioning, nutrition & supplements, physiotherapy charges and the tournament fee draining the finances of the parent and most of them have a tough time balancing the sporting and the educational expenses of the young athlete. NUTRITION & SUPPLEMENTS An athlete’s food habits, is nowhere similar to that of a normal human. Pre-match, post-match, pre-training, post-training & rest day may be their food cycle rather than breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each of it takes a lot of effort as each of it serves a different purpose that has a direct take on the performance. In some cases, they may even take up supplements to boost their fitness. Nutritious diet and physical fitness go hand in hand with each other and both play a vital role in structuring the athlete’s performance which is at the priority. The role of a parent here, is again vital as they provide and ensure the athlete is subjected to a diet that catalyzes his/her performance. INJURIES & REHABILITATION MANAGEMENT What more could frustrate an athlete as an injury which is a bumper on the race to the top. Injuries besides the physical effects it causes also psychologically affects the athlete. Some of the major injuries may also result in the hamper the sporting career of the athlete. A parent besides providing adequate physical assistance required also provides the required emotional assistance to keep the athlete going. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT Athletes subjected to both success and failure often have a hard time facing failures. The parent who lauds the athlete on emerging victorious also stands by the athlete in times of failure, figuring out ways to do better without blaming the athlete. Athlete’s tend to stumble due to the huge expectations bestowed upon them by their parents and their coaches and so a parent should ensure not to brim the young athlete with their expectations on them. Besides everything, the life of a parent who plays multiple roles in an athlete’s life is as equally or at times more a hustle that of the athlete.