In the world of sport, there is little than can surpass the marvelous lore of the Kevin Laue story.  His ability to persevere through adversity and find success in sport is a testament to his character and the valuable role recreational sport can play in personal development.  For those have yet to hear the fascinating story of Kevin Laue (or for those who can’t get enough of his amazing story), let’s run over some of the details again here.

This is the claim to fame that brought people in to Kevin’s life story.  Kevin was born with a left arm that ended at the elbow, leaving him rather deficient in dexterity and ability – or so it seemed.  He refused to get a prosthetic arm and forged ahead with the body he was born with.  As it turns out, by the 8th grade he grew to be quite tall and strong.

He used his height and strength to his advantage throughout high school, quickly becoming a high school star of some renown across the nation.  This prowess lead to a basketball scholarship to a top-level program at Manhattan College – and the rest is history.

If being born without a left arm was not enough adversity for a young child to face, Kevin also had to deal with the grief from the death of his father at the age of 10.  His father was a gifted athlete and demanding coach for his son’s teams.  His untimely death due to cancer sparked a fire in Kevin to make his father proud.  Suffice to say he channeled all the adversity he faced into a work-ethic and self-belief that was unrivaled amongst his peers.

  • Kevin is 6’9.

Part of what helped him on his path to success was the fact that Kevin grew to be nearly seven feet tall.  It was the only physical advantage he had over his peers and he made the most of it.  However, it did not compensate for his single limb, which made it impossible for him to defend or dribble with the same competency as others.

  • His Brain Was His Best Attribute.

For parents with kids in recreational sport, the story of Kevin Laue offers an important lesson.  It teaches parents and kids that you don’t have to be the most athletically gifted player on the field in order to succeed.  Kevin realized early on that he had to develop mental smarts in order to outperform his peers, and the extra attention he gave to strategy made the difference in the long-run.

What Does the Kevin Laue Story Mean for You?

As a parent with kids involved in recreational sports, you can take many lessons from the story of Kevin Laue:

  1. Adversity Builds Strength
  2. Sports is as Mental as Physical
  3. Perseverance is the Key to Success

Keep these in mind the next time you (or your child) gets frustrated with their performance and let Kevin’s story become a true inspiration for the young athletes in your family.