This past weekend my wife and I took our eight year old son, Peyton, to Newport News, VA, for the USATF Region III Championship.

Once again, my son showed what you can accomplish with hard work and determination.

There were a lot of boys throwing javelin in his division so the group was divided into two "flights".  The top eight boys would move on to the finals.

Peyton was in the higher seeded group so he was in the second flight.  As I watched him line up and stand in the middle of those boys it was obvious that he was the youngest (and smallest) of them all.  He's eight, but because he turns nine later this year he competes in the 9-10 year old age group.

Although I tried to limit his expectations, he had already decided that his goal was to make it to Nationals.

All season I could feel the parent in me wanting to protect him from disappointment and thinking it was okay if he came in last place (my thoughts, not his).

I don't ever like to set low expectations for myself and I have taught Peyton about setting goals and that we learn from failure as much as from success.  But for what ever reason (parental protectiveness maybe?) I wanted to try to keep Peyton from being disappointed.  I knew he had done well the year before, but I just was not sure how this season would go.

Right before he threw I wanted to run over and tell him that it was okay no matter how he did and not to worry about where he placed, luckily I was too far away...

As soon as I saw him set up for his run and charge at the line, I could see the determination in his face.  When he reached the line to throw, he screamed and let the javelin fly (Peyton is one of the few kids that yells as he throws the javelin.and it's so cool when he does it).

He ended up not only getting to the finals, but placing in the top five and qualifying for the USA Track & Field National Championship in Baltimore, MD!

I am so very proud of him.

He set his own goals at the beginning of the year and with hard work and determination he accomplished each one as the season progressed (did I teach him that or is he teaching me?)...

If you would like to donate to Peyton's Fundraiser for this USATF National Meet there is a box on the top right corner of my blog.  Or you can click here (Donate).


  1. Congratulations to Peyton for qualifying for Nationals! We had 12 Florence kids qualify too, and I'm super proud of everyone who did.

    Not very many distance kids I coached qualified. A few of them came in last or next to it quite often, and I think I felt worse over it than they did. Kids are more resilient than we give them credit for sometimes and take cues from parents and coaches (especially if we focus too much on where they place, how fast, how far, etc).

    Looks like Peyton had a great time throwing Jav and even though he set his expectations so high, probably would've had a great time at Regionals no matter how he did :).

    Good luck with getting ready for Nationals! Coming right up!

    1. Thanks Amy! The coach in me always wants the kids to set their goals high. I learned to let things play out this year and it worked out fine. At this point he is still working hard and wants to do well at Nationals, but is just happy to be going.

      Congrats on the Florence kids! They are my second favorite kids at the meets :) They really are nice kids and Anthony S., who throws jav with Peyton, always cheers on the other kids. Very cool for such an athlete.

      We had 26 kids qualify and 9 were from javelin! Again, those kids set their goals big and never looked back. Its fun to be around their energy!


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