You are so right. I was a fairly successful high school athlete. I never pressured my boys to play sports. They came to me and asked. I just supported their decision.
Bear is a natural athlete, far better than I ever was. He played football. He was an outstanding player on a poor team with a terrible coach. I always told him there were two games, the team’s and his. His job was to win his game to help the team. If the team lost (which they did, a lot), but he had played his game as best he could, then he was still a winner. He always did.
It is amazing to watch him now train and compete in Crossfit, perhaps the most demanding and brutal sport that exists. He has to motivate himself, set goals, push hard, endure very real physical pain, and stay positive.
You are right. Seeing your child work so hard and give so much on his or her own makes you proud and humble, and gives you hope for the future.