Advice on what to do when your talented child wants to quit a sport

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Advice on what to do when your talented child wants to quit a sport

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When my daughter came to me and said that she wanted to quit the sport of gymnastics I asked her--and I exactly said, "Gabrielle, have you lost your mind? You're incredibly talented, you're incredibly gifted, why would you want to stop doing what you love? This is your dream, this was never my dream." And she said she was homesick. So, that was hard because I knew, after getting to the bottom of it, that it wasn't that she wanted to quit because she didn't want to do it anymore. She wanted to quit because she had to move from home at the age of 14 after never being separated from her family, she had to move away to pursue her dream, and so, I had to toughen up and support her and say, "I'm not going to allow you to come home. I'm going to help support you so that you can continue to fight for your dream." And it was very hard, I won't lie, it was very difficult, but I feel that if you have a child that's incredibly gifted that you need to share with them how much regret they will experience if they let the dream die. And so, that's what I reminded Gabrielle of. I reminded her of what her dream was, which she had shared with me, and I let her know that regret is the worst thing in life that you can live with. You don't ever want to wake up and wonder what if, what could've been, what should've been. You want to know that regardless, again, of the results that you gave it your all and that you can look back at the end of the day and say, "I did it." Good or bad, beautiful results or not, "I did it," and that's what really matters.

View Natalie Hawkins's video on Advice on what to do when your talented child wants to quit a sport...

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Natalie Hawkins

Mom & Manager

Natalie Hawkins is the mother of Gabrielle Douglas, 2012 Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist.  Virginia Beach native and single mother of 4, Hawkins faced many struggles putting Gabrielle through Olympic training, giving up everything she had to see her daughter succeed.  Hawkins allowed her daughter to leave their Virginia Beach home and close family bonds to pursue her dreams, train with Chow's Gymnastics in Iowa, and become the Olympian she is today.  Hawkins has since been honored in the P&G “Thank You Moms” campaign. 

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