T Nation

Motivation

I’m trying to get my 14 y/o son into training/lifting/BB. He currently plays ice hockey and has played other organized sports (soccer, football, baseball). Yet, I can’t get him to take it seriously - to lift weights, eat right, improve stamina or develop strength. He won’t eat right either. He won’t eat protien bars or drinks because of the way they taste. Am I fighting a lost battle or is there a way to motivate him so he can be more competitive.

You are fighting an impossible battle, you can lead a horse to water but…In the new “Atomic Dog” article TC talks about how some people are naturally gifted with great work-out genes and get big doing anything. I am not like that, I have to work really hard in the gym everyday and avoid all kinds of good tasting food and there is no way ANYONE could get me to sacrifice like that except myself. If he’s not interested, then hes not interested, and at 14, the more interested you are the less he is going to be, and protein bars suck, they are basically useless, the protein in them does not metabolize hardly at all in the body, drink a protein shake instead.

I wouldn’t worry about it. If your son wants to lift weights and eat right it will happen. Don’t push him to hard or he won’t want to do to it at all. He’s still young and if he’s serious about the sports he playes he’ll have to get serious about lifting, or he won’t be successful.

maybe he does not want to. maybe you should not make him. maybe your being just like the parents of the kid beauty pagents. maybe he doesn’t want to be an “athlete”. maybe he plays sports 'cause they are fun and not because he is all competative. maybe if he is playing sports he is getting enough exercise. maybe he feels just like you would have if your parents had kept pushing you to do things THEY were interested in.

You could tell him, that at his age he needs to build a frame that he will be able to work more sport specifically as he gets older. Or you could tell him, he needs to build muscle on his puny body or he will get cancer and die before he is 18. Probably the earlier is better. You could give him the old “I-wish-I-had-the-opportunity -to-begin-at-your- age-speech speech.” Beginning a sound bodybuilding routine is good at that age, just becareful not to overtrain him and push him to hard off the bat. Easy him into it, slowly teach him the ways of the Jedi. Feed him good, lots of milk and eggs. Lots of food in general. As he starts to grow the other stuff will fall into place. Even starting with once a week, would be better than none, or overtraining him so he never goes again. Surround him with goals, like leaving Testosterone Mags all over the coffee table. Or taking him out to a powerlifting or bodybuilding show. These goals will make protein bars or drinks more palitable. Well, that’s all I can think of… gents?

14 huh? How about some tasteless Glutamine and his favorite punch or drink…make it fun and set goals that can be acheived quickly so you can reinforce those habits. Watch the Arnold Movie “Pumping Iron” with him…then you guys can imitate Arnie in the gym. Any 14 year old can do some funny voices. Or…The is the PETE MARAVICH school of thought. Pete Sr. would come home from work every night and shoot hoops. When Pete Jr. tried to join him he told him to get lost, hoops is for adults. He enrolled him in football leagues and baseball leagues but always told him hoops was for real men. With in a few years of treatment Pete Jr. was a complete Basketball JUNKY. However…You would have to be insane to put these kinds of presures on your kid. I beleive that for every Tiger Woods, there is a million kids who have self esteem problems because they couldn’t live up to DADDY’S expectations. No Matter what…you must tell him you love him whether he fails or not. The more you tell him you love him the more you can get him to be like you. Even if that takes 10 years. You must tell him this everyday if you are going to be doing the pushing and the suppporting. Good luck Brother…I admire a man who has the balls to expose his son to a healthy lifestyle early on. Keep us up to date on his progress.

If he’s not in high school now… he will be next year, yeah? Well, the chicks like muscles. Thats what I told my little cousin, and that did it for him. He’s not crazy about it, but he’s definately making some gains. He’s getting his friends into training too.

Tell him that he is not permitted to work out!

Specster, I know it’s hard to see your child not reach his potential in sports, but let him be a kid. Motivation comes in sports and life comes from within. Obviously, there’s a difference between what you want for him right now and what he wants for himself. Adolescents need to make their own choices, even the wrong ones, to grow and learn. I’m sorry if this sounds condescending or preaching, just my 2cents’ worth…

I have believed for a long time that most high school atheletes hve been missing one of the big three for increasing athletic performance. They have the stimulus and rest but they are mostly like your son they don’t want to eat right. I would suggest thay you find someone his age, or close to it, to use as an example. Maybe an icredible HS athelete that through getting the propper nutrition, has reached further than most for exactly just this fact. I found in most sports the guy that has the genetic advantage or skill isn’t the one who goes the distance. It’s the guy who wished he had it so much that he worked so hard to be as good as the “other” guy, he became better.

Train with him. Sweat, grunt and puke with him. Go to his games and practice. Tell him he is doing great everyday. He needs to have “it” inside though. As a teen I was competing at State and National level in Judo. My parents saw me fight once. I wanted to compete bad enough that I never let that bother me. All that mattered was the next practice.

Specster to All -

Thanks for the advice. I am really honored by the fact that so many of you took this question seriously. Dunhill, I am not looking to force my son to do anything. I am his father and, as such, it is my duty to guide him and ensure he does not make the mistakes I have made in the past. I think being fit, mentally and physically, are amoung the most important things a person can have. It is essential to happiness and success.

Thank you all.