For this landmark 50th blog, I'm going to tell you how proud I am of my kids and how I think sports played into their success. But first, I need to thank my wife's genetics for helping make the kids really smart. They were all Dean's List people during college. Mom gave the kids the intelligence. Dad, I believe, gave them the world of athletic competition in which to build a solid foundation of life skills.

I have three kids. My oldest daughter is starting a new career after giving business and real estate a go. She will finish her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and begin a career as a registered nurse next May. She is also employed as a member of an organ retrieval firm. Her team harvests organs and skin for transplantation. She does the "skin" work, which means she must harvest skin from a deceased body to be used for burn victims and other tragedies that affect one's skin. She says harvesting organs and skin isn't as creepy as it may sound. I say it takes a special breed of individual to feel comfortable doing that kind of work.

My son just completed his doctorate in chemistry from Arizona State University. His specialty is solar energy. His dissertation was called "Synthesis and Characterization of Dyes with Solar Energy Applications." He has his name on a handful of patents for solar energy breakthroughs. Of course, he won't see any money from those patents because they belong to Arizona State and the private organization that funded the research. But that doesn't mean he won't be able to patent his own research down the road. He begins a post doctoral position in the chemistry department at Yale University this month.

My youngest daughter just graduated from North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a degree in psychology and biology. She had a 4.0 GPA her final semester, and was on the Dean's List all four years. She begins her first year of medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center next week. The family, minus my son, attended her White Coat ceremony yesterday. The ceremony is the first step to becoming a medical doctor, and instills in the med students a sense of responsibility to humanity. My wife and I couldn't be more proud of all three kids.

So where did those three kids get the drive and motivation to excel in their disciplines? My wife and I were high school teachers, and I'm teaching on the college level now. So I'm sure the kids understood the importance of education in their lives since it's been an important part of their parent's lives.

Just as importantly, I believe, is that all three played sports as young kids. My oldest daughter played high school volleyball and ran track, and my son played soccer. My youngest daughter played youth sports, and played in the marching band in high school and college. All experienced the fun of being a part of a team, and reaching team and personal goals. They knew what it took to compete and win, and were willing to give it their best shot all the time. Sports, whether team or individual in nature, produces life skills in every athlete. As a former coach, I know the life skills that being a part of a team gives the young athlete.

I also selfishly tell the kids that I will appreciate their successes even more when they take care of their Mom and me in our retirement years. Those won't be for a while, but I need to keep planting that seed in their heads, don't I?

My advice to parents: Be proud of your kids in all of their endeavors. Be a role model for positiveness. Give them the room to explore and expand their lives. Whether or not you like what they're doing with their lives, you had a hand in it some way, either good or bad. But that's life, isn't it? Give it your best shot all the time, and hopefully, good things will turn out.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Brennan, a former educator and college basketball coach, has Masters degrees in Educational Administration and Sport Psychology, and a Doctorate in Performance and Health Psychology. He is the author of several books, including Six Psychological Factors for Success and The Recruiters Bible (3rd Edition). He is President of Peak Performance Consultants, and the President and CEO of the Center for Performance Enhancement Research and Education (CPERE). Steve is the developer of the Success Factors Scales, both Corporate and Athletics Editions. and