Olympian Kelsie Ahbe’s message to parents: Let your kids have fun

The Green High graduate thinks over-parenting has become a problem in athletics

In addition to her main job as an Olympic-level pole vaulter for Canada, Green High graduate Kelsie Ahbe does a little coaching on the side, both in gymnastics and pole vaulting.

About a month ago, after a particularly aggravating session involving a talented vaulter and her overbearing father, Ahbe sat down at her computer, logged on to Facebook and typed an open letter to parents of young athletes.

This is what came out:

Please let your athlete be. Give them the space to learn and grow. Let them get comfortable with failure. Let them play their role on the team, without your input on what position they should be playing or how much time they should see on the field.

Let the coach lead and stop being a helicopter parent. Stop living through your kid or thinking you can manufacture them into a college athlete through YOUR actions. Are they not the one on the field, on the court, on the track, the runway, etc.?

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