Driven to Succeed: Destiny

Pushing Herself too Hard?

"My concern with Destiny is that she doesn't have time to be a kid. Her whole life is sports, sports, sports," says Penny, of her 13-year-old granddaughter. "I worry Destiny doesn't have any balance in her life, and it will hurt her in the long run."


"We've got ball games every single night, and then most of our weekends are spent traveling back and forth to tournaments," says Dana, Destiny's mother.


"All I need is sports. I just want to push myself to the limit. I want to stun people," says Destiny. "I would run to get in shape, and I would run until I puked."


"She's so hard on herself, and she beats herself up when she doesn't do well," Penny shares.


"I hate to see her stressed out, and I hate to see her down on herself. She can be her worst enemy. If she has a bad game, Destiny just takes it to heart," Dana adds. 


"A couple of years ago in the state tournament, I was playing basketball, and I fell and broke two bones. I didn't cry until the doctor told me I couldn't play sports for a while. I was just so mad," Destiny recalls. 


[AD]"Destiny is so good that a lot of parents just can't stand that a little seventh grader comes out there and kicks their senior's butt," Penny says. "I've seen Destiny treated so badly at some ball games that I literally have to get up and leave."


"I've had a lot of mean things said to me because I'm better than these girls," Destiny says.


"Destiny has told me that she wants a day off. I wonder if she has told her parents that, or if she's just pushing herself because that's what she thinks they want," Penny says. "I'm afraid if she's playing sports so hard now, it will mean she has permanent injuries later on. She's not taking care of her body, and she really needs to."

"Why do you push yourself so hard?" Dr. Phil asks Destiny.


"Because I know if I want to be good and take myself somewhere in life, so far in sports, that I've got to work hard, and you've got to really push yourself to get to that point," she replies.


Penny explains her concern, "I see her stay up late, and I call, and she's at the gym at 12:00 some nights, when I know there's school the next morning."


Dana says she's not concerned. "It's just in her heart. It's what she wants to do," she says. "I believe as long as she's on that court, or she's on that field, then I know where she's at, and I can keep an eye on her."


"At 13, she's playing varsity sports already. She's playing with bigger girls. They're strong, they're fast, they're older. Is there a point where athletes go too far, too fast? Is this a reason for concern?" Dr. Phil asks Coach Payton.


"From my experience, with a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son, you're always looking for that balance," he says. "But the one thing I see here a little bit with Destiny is that this is motivated and driven a lot by her, which certainly is healthier than when the parents are pushing hard. So, I think you've just got to balance it like anything else."


[AD]"Do you have that balance? Do you have fun?" Dr. Phil asks Destiny.


"Yes, I have a lot of fun doing sports," she replies.


"Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Hold on," Dr. Phil says. "I'm saying do you have fun doing other things?"


"Not really," the teen says.


"Do you ever just be worthless, and goofy and lay around the house?" Dr. Phil asks. 


"Not really."

"That's what I'm concerned about," Dr. Phil says to Destiny. "You know, so many athletes can become one dimensional. If you vertically develop in your sport, it takes so much time, and if you see players who are really superstars " Tiger Woods is a good example " people wonder why he's made bad decisions. Well, I think part of it is because a lack of socialization in areas other than the sport. You grow up really focused on that one thing, and you don't develop life skills in other areas."


"We see and come across a lot of athletes that didn't begin playing until high school or later than high school, and they do just fine," Coach Payton says. "We still try to, at our house, really protect the summer, and make sure that the itinerary is in the garbage can, and there's no exact time to be anywhere. I think that's important."


Dr. Phil notes that Penny bought Destiny a pass to a water park, but the teen has only used it once. 


[AD]Coach Payton says he too must find balance in his professional and personal life. "It can consume you from a coaching aspect and really leave your family second. That's something that all of us try to pay attention to and constantly try to improve on," he says.


Dr. Phil and Coach Payton offer Destiny and her mom advice.