I have a 7-year-old son who has recently fallen in love with basketball, so as you can imagine our household is obsessed with the Golden State Warriors right now, especially Steph Curry.
And let me tell you how grateful I am for that. The more I learn about this man, the more I realize how incredible he is. And I’m not talking about his stats and awards. He is a fantastic role model for kids and has been seriously helping me out with my parenting lately.
Here are some ways Steph Curry helps me instill core values in my kids:
He has a very strong work ethic.
The first thing you hear about Steph Curry is how hard he worked to get where he is today. After every practice, he shoots an extra 300 shots before calling it a day. He ramps that up to 500 shots daily during the summer. He practices and practices and practices. His 3-pointer accuracy and free throw streaks aren’t magic; he works at it. Every day. I use this example when encouraging my son that you don’t become good at something magically overnight. Everything, from reading and writing to playing sports, takes time and lots of practice.
He’s not perfect.
As we all witnessed during the playoffs, Steph hit a rough patch. He was off his game, missing shots, causing turnovers, etc. It’s been so helpful to tell my son, “See, even Steph Curry has a bad day! And he doesn’t quit or yell or blame other people. Instead, he acknowledges that everyone has ups and downs and says, ‘When I’m in a rut, I stay confident and just keep shooting and I know I’ll soon be back on top.'” Seriously, I need that advice in my own life.
He doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Curry made 81 consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter and in overtime of playoff games from June 2015 until Game 4 of this year’s conference finals, according to Warriors PR. Let me reiterate that: for 4 years, Curry did not miss a single free throw during a fourth-quarter playoff game—until last week when he totally missed. This was kind of a BIG deal! And what did Curry do? He laughed and shrugged his shoulders. My friends, in front of millions of people, Curry ended an incredible shooting streak, and he laughed it off. Then he went on to sink the next two effortlessly. It’s a beautiful example of falling off the horse and getting back on again without being too hard on yourself.
Family and faith first
It’s no secret that Curry attributes his success to God and speaks often about the importance of his faith. This is a very essential element to our family as well, and it’s a nice reminder that even someone as hugely successful as Steph Curry is humble and grounded.
He’s a team player.
There are many articles out there touting Curry’s team player approach. He goes out of his way to make other teammates look better and often passes the ball when he could easily make a basket. Even when he is injured, he goes on the road with the team to pump them up and give them tips before and during the game, while most injured players stay home to tend to their injuries. He truly embraces the “Strength in Numbers” philosophy of taking a step back from individual honors and focusing on the team has a whole. I remind my kids that Steph could easily make the game all about him. Instead, he chooses to lift the team up and raise the level of his teammates, which is something we could all strive to do more often.
He’s not the biggest, strongest, or fastest.
Steph Curry has loads of talent, and it’s not because of his size, strength, or speed. It’s because he works hard (and genetics are at play, too, of course). This is something I remind my son of when he comes home upset because someone is taller than him or can run more laps in PE. I encourage him not to feel defined or limited by his size or ability relative to his peers and to just enjoy the fun of the game.