Ezra Frech's father reveals the things that he kept in mind as his son pursued his athletic dreams and broke records.
Being an athlete requires a lot of mental fortitude and strength. The journey is filled with ups and downs, with no option of skipping any of it. Through it all, they are supported by parents, as they are the ones who fill the athletes with confidence in this arduous journey. Clayton Frech did exactly that throughout his 18-year-old son Ezra Frech's career to great results, as reported by CNBC. Ezra Finch has earned a name for himself by achieving the world record for the T-63 high jump. He has become so proficient that he has broken his own set records twice in July 2023. The athlete continues to cite his family's support as one of the biggest reasons behind his success.
Ezra was born with congenital limb differences. Despite facing physical challenges, his love for sports kept him going. He was given a prosthetic leg at 11 months of age. The prosthetic leg aided him with participation in track and field events. In 2024, he is set to compete in the Paralympic Games in Paris, France as part of Team USA. Ezra's father, Clayton, has been a constant presence in the entire journey. In his interview with the outlet, Clayton shared some things he kept in mind to bolster his son's ambition.
Clayton's suggestion to other parents is never to dissuade their children. He remembered how Ezra once wanted to go to the NBA and he fully supported his decision. They did not know that his participation was not allowed and they both went through the journey of exploring the league together. "I never told him that was impossible," Clayton shared a million-dollar parenting tip. "I didn't know that was impossible, but it seemed pretty hard as an above-knee amputee to go to the NBA. But, you know, if they can define their own goals and then you could find a way to just get behind him and support them, I think that's the path out of that," he added.
Ezra was always interested in sports. After the heartbreaking disappointment in the NBA, he switched gears towards the long jump, high jump and sprint events. It wasn't always an easy road by any means. At his 2020 debut, the athlete placed fifth in the T63 high jump. Clayton was there to share the heartbreak. He reminisced, "It was the worst night of my life as a parent to see your kids so devastated and disappointed in their own performance. And doing it publicly on the world stage is extra hard." During such times, he constantly motivated Ezra by reminding him of the impact he was making on his community.
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Clayton's biggest challenge was balancing supporting his kid and ensuring he was not overwhelming Ezra at the same time. He advised parents to "let (their kids) set their own goals and don't project your personal goals" onto them. He has always remained invested in his three children's dreams. It did not matter whether it was gardening, sport, or aquarium cleaning. Even when his kids changed their dreams millions of times, he remained patient and on board. He ended the interview with, "We try to have fun and try to enjoy the ride too. So if the medals don't come exactly as planned, that's OK." Apart from his paralympic pursuit, Ezra is also working as a motivational speaker. He is the co-creator of Angel City Sports and Angel City Games, an annual multisport competition for athletes with disabilities.