I caught up with National Champions and USC beach volleyball teammates Hailey Harward & Julia Scoles at AVP Next New Orleans. These women play with a joy and enthusiasm that is only matched by their incredible skill. I was curious (after a chance run in with Julia’s mom in the elevator) about the role their parents have played in their athletic journey. In today’s society, parents feel a sense of control over their children’s athletic destiny, often times overreaching and causing their relationships to be a detriment to the joy and achievement athletes find with their sport. As parents, it is painful to watch our children struggle, but not only is that part of the athletic journey, it’s part of the grander scheme of life. The lessons our kids have the opportunity to learn through sports serve them with every other challenge they meet throughout their lives. It was refreshing to hear Hailey & Julia’s perspectives about the lessons and support that both of these stellar female athletes have learned from their parents. From organization and planning, instilling a competitive spirit, exposing them to many different sports, and the simple act of being kind to everyone, these champions show up on the court as amazing athletes but are even better people.