As a parent, I realize that there is not much on this earth that will arouse a parent's genuine heartfelt interest and emotion like the circumstances and activities that involve or impact his/her kids. As Believers most of us are familiar with the story of Abraham being blessed with a son and then being asked to sacrifice him. God honored Abraham's intention to obey Him with sparing Abraham's son. I believe this applies to parents that are "all in" to the cause of achieving the goal of success for their kid(s). Though not asked to sacrifice their kid's life, parents of student/athletes may be asked to be willing, for a time, to sacrifice their kid's; happiness, comfort, some goals, etc., not to mention their own comfort and goals.
Throughout the kid's journey of school and sports, Kingdom Principles need to be at the forefront. Matthew 6:33 says: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all things shall be added to you. Values like discipline, diligence, humility, unselfishness, and team spirit are essential for families and the child to display. The discipline to regularly put in the required time to academics as well as to practice sports skills. The diligence for parents to support academics by holding the student/athlete accountable, and taking necessary measures like maybe limiting the youth's time on social media, the phone, etc.... Being uninvolved in the kid's academic pursuits, then taking him/her off the team after a bad interim report or report card is not what I consider effective parenting. Parents also should be proactive and take the time to investigate numerous youth organizations before signing their kid up with one. Parents and the kid need humility to be able to accept constructive criticism from coaches, and to seek help when needed, as well as the unselfishness and team spirit that is required for families and the kid to be willing to play a supporting role for the team's benefit.
As Christians, we've got to realize that our walk is our witness. Professing to be a Believer, wearing a cross, sporting Christian messages on our hats, shirts, etc..., then behaving negatively as many in the world may do, is counter productive to our most important function, and that is advancing the Kingdom. In other words, who wants to hear about what a mighty God we serve if we've been seen acting like the devil after we didn't agree with how our child was used by a coach in a game or practice, or felt wronged by an officials call.
Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." If you are a Believer that lives a spirit-led life, then you understand how faith is a vital component, and you realize that staying in character is a sign that you are trusting God to work things out. Challenges may include:
1. Not having the faith to realize that a committed effort from the family and the child for an extended period of time can result in success. Sometimes the effort is there in the beginning or in spurts, but is not consistent, because of a lack of faith that the effort will pay off, or just because of a lack of willingness to continue the effort.
2. Not having the humility to self-reflect and consider better ways to accomplish the goals.
3. Aligning yourself with people or an organization that you believe can be helpful, but as a Christian, you know that you and your family shouldn't be involved with.
4. Yielding to feelings of jealousy as you see others around you prospering.
5. Yielding to the desires to express yourself in UnGodly ways around your kids, other's kids, coaches, and parents.
A valuable lesson that can be learned through sports is in delayed gratification, as the athlete and family keep their noses to the grindstone for an extended period of time, waiting for the kid's day in the sun. It is all the more rewarding if the high road was taken, and I also firmly believe that the journey will be a blessed one if done God's way.