29 April 2015

The news of Mick Schumacher’s first formula four win this week got me thinking about how a parent or parents can influence their children’s success.

So often, when you look at great sporting heroes such as Andy Murray and Tiger Woods, there is a family member behind the scenes supporting them and investing in their talent. In Mick’s case, being around racing and having access to their resources would have been a big help, and growing up in this environment has clearly helped to shape this talented young man.

Goal-setting with my eldest

Goal setting with my eldest

Mick isn’t the only young sportsperson following in a parent’s footsteps. Consider Laila Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali, who has boxed professionally since 1999. So, what is the motivation? Is it the passion of the parent for a certain sport or field rubbing off, or simply a desire to make them proud? Either way, it’s great to see the grit and determination these greats have passed on to their kids.

Personally, I think there’s a huge responsibility as a parent to ensure you are giving the right kind of encouragement and advice without piling on too much pressure. It’s a fine balance and – as a father of three – it’s one I try to be mindful of.

It’s also why we recruit people based on attitude rather than skillset. Attitude is ingrained and set in stone from a very young age. As parents, teachers, aunties and uncles, and even older siblings, we all have a part to play in shaping the personalities and passions of our loved ones.

Who influenced you most growing up?

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