David Pollack shares advice on parenting young athletes

David Pollack shares advice on parenting young athletes


David Pollack shares advice on parenting young athletes


As a three-time first-team All-American at Georgia and then a 2005 first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, David Pollack was once atop the football world with no end in sight.

That all changed on Sept. 17, 2006, in just the second game of the outside linebacker’s second year in the NFL. Playing against the Cleveland Browns, Pollack suffered a career-ending neck injury.

Perhaps being a star player and then having football taken away before his 25th birthday helps the current ESPN College Gameday co-host have an elevated level of perspective on where sports can fit into one’s life.

RELATED: 9 Things Good Sports Parents Avoid

On Friday, the 35-year-old Pollack shared his thoughts on the relationship between sports and parenting and posted them to Twitter.

In the post, Pollack describes eloquently what he sees from watching his own son compete, as well as seeing how other parents interact with their young athletes.

Here is what Pollack said:

“My son Nicholas is 8 years old. He loves sports, but he is just an average athlete. He doesn’t own that ‘killer instinct’ at all!

‘I’ want him to have that so bad. ‘I’ want my son to be tough! ‘I’ want my son to be a hard worker. ‘I’ want my son to be an awesome competitor. ‘I, I, I, I…’

It’s amazing that I’m so selfish and that I try to make him what I think he should be.

What if he misses out on something great God has for him because he has a ‘killer instinct’ heart, instead of one that’s filled with compassion?

I look around my life and see so many dads wanting their kids to be great at sports. They ride their kids hard. Always coaching! Always pushing! Where’s the line?

I know for a fact that sports will not last forever in their lives. What’s next then?

Sports are great for kids and I support them 1000%! You guys know I want to win more then anyone, but sports are not the most important thing in our lives.

If that’s all you and your kids do and talk about, the day is coming soon where you might not have much to talk about.

Sports teaches so many great life lessons and they are so good for kids, but they should not be the main focus of our household. They are not more important than church, family time or living life. Sports should not own and drive you from place to place 7 days a week.

I saw so many talented kids come into the University of Georgia that ended up not being successful because they didn’t love the game. They didn’t love the game because they were pushed so hard to be something, never having the opportunity to enjoy life as it came.

Enjoy life!!! Sports isn’t life, it’s just a small part of it.


Pollack shares sound advice, both as a parent and as someone who had the game he loved and excelled at taken away from him before his career really got going. He is addressing something that is often discussed when it comes to youth sports, but the degrees to which it is put into practice vary from sport to sport, town to town, state to state.

From the sound of it, though, the former football star has his priorities in the right place. Now, he wants to help ensure that others follow his lead.


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