There's nothing more likely to make you want to give up on your dreams than seeing some high school punk put you to shame. Actually, that's not true. Seeing some grade school punk put you to shame is much worse.
Actually, there's one thing even worse than that. How about seeing some little punk—who may or may not still be—in diapers who is still 1-4 years away from even starting school put you to shame? Sometimes it's like…why bother getting up in the morning?
That's not just drama queen hyperbole either. The world is brimming with talented toddlers that are already more athletically accomplished than most of us will ever be.
Then again, when you start a sport before walking or talking, it's easier to get ahead. Seriously, what else does a human who lacks all real world survival skills have to do with his or her time?
Most people fill all that downtime by taking lots of naps and smearing cake [or spaghetti] on our faces. Others do something more productive.
Here are 20 kids in diapers—or just barely out of them—who make most babies look like lazy slackers.
Having grown up in the late 80s/early 90s, I watched a lot of friends attempt—and fail miserably at—making skating their "thing." It was the golden age of the sport, as legends like Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen took a largely underground scene and made it cool and accessible.
Three-year-old daredevil Caleb shows on just his second skate-park trip that he has the raw physical ability and just as importantly, willingness to go careening into pavement, needed to become a great street skater. His second trip looks a lot better than my 50th trip would.
*Quick shaming note: How about dad putting a helmet on this kid?
Competitive racing, be it on foot or on wheels, can be pretty stressful even for seasoned adults. Which makes it all the more impressive that this herd of BMXing toddlers doesn't look the least bit phased by its surroundings.
Then again, they aren't really old enough to know any better.
The earlier you start these activities, the better. At some point we all reach an age when we start thinking of ourselves as nothing more than human projectiles just trying not to die—which is way too late to take up an activity like this.
This three-year-old mini-Bryan Trottier (to be clear, he played for the Islanders) is laying the groundwork for a future filled with all the hockey accouterments that make spectators wince and players show-off as a badge of honor: Missing teeth, a face full of scars and filthy lucky socks.
He still needs to work on his skating fundamentals, which will come with practice. But this kid is already playing with the big boys—you can't teach a kid to be brave. Thankfully the little guy wasn't practicing with the Philadelphia Flyers—who probably would have checked the toddler face-first into the boards.
And cue the angry Philly fans!
In a note unrelated to their strange and unique ability to paddle around a pool, 10-month-old twin babies William and Ellie may be cuties gone viral for most people, but they are the stuff of nightmares for some of us.
Or maybe I've just seen The Shining one too many times...
Regardless of the trepidation some [or just me] may have watching this clip, everyone will walk away impressed by the British pair who, like most of the kids featured in this piece, are shockingly unfazed by something that often terrifies their peers.
In June, budding hoops phenom Titus took on Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant in "Clash of the Titus," a basketball shooting contest on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The adorable two-year-old may have been using a special basketball goal downsized for his little arms, but that doesn't diminish his 4-4 tie with one of the greatest scorers—and worst passers—in NBA history.
It's difficult enough to make a shot as an adult [I don't know how many times I stalled out permanently at H-O-R...but it was a lot] so Titus gets some slack for clanging a few on national television.
Shirking the restraints of days spent learning to read and gluing elbow macaroni to construction paper, three-year-old Ben prefers to focus full-time on perfecting his kickturns and mastering the art of the ollie. No school is gonna teach him how to be the next Tony Hawk!
It's amazing how much the perception of that decision changes if it's made by a rebellious 16-year-old with two-gauge plugs wedged in his earlobes. Something tells me that Dad wouldn't proudly stand by and video his son busting out tricks while his friends languish in class.
So let this be a lesson to the kids out there: Quit school yesterday.
These three Hawaiian beach brothers are the Robersons. Big brothers Justin and Eric are both six years old and little brother Steve [who goes by the wicked-awesome nickname Uncle Baby] is just four years old. They are equal parts talented, adorable and menacing—as most little boys tend to be.
Naturally all of them are already better surfers than I was as an adult after living in Hawaii for a full year. And these guys are only going to get better because they have two things going for them: A perfect location and each has two lifelong competitors that will inspire his best effort in any undertaking.
So you see, it wasn't that I was terrible at surfing. It was just that I didn't have anyone around motivating me to be better!
Anyone who has watched the Summer Olympic Games knows why gymnastics is one of its most popular and beloved events. The men and women who compete do the seemingly impossible: demonstrating astounding strength, balance, flexibility and grace. Gymnasts are simply elite athletes.
Five-year-old Madison Larson is a true talent and just starting rigors of training that is so intense, it's more or less unfathomable to anyone who has never done it. However, she should really savor this time because this may be the one sport that pushes most [female] athletes out before they can even vote.
Apparently the bigger you get, the worse you become at recklessly launching your body off of various apparatus and balancing yourself on a chalk-covered beam just four inches wide. Who knew?
Little Braham, which I hope is short for Abraham, is only two years old, but he's already swimming like a fish and diving like a giant squid. [Giant squid are very impressive divers, just so everyone is clear on the connection.]
The video uploader, likely a parent or guardian, claims their little tadpole is the youngest swimmer in the world. However, that statement is not accurate because YouTube is rife videos of infants as young as six months old swimming.
That being said, Braham may not be the youngest swimmer in the world, but he's definitely the best of those I've seen. In addition to hauling ass across the pool, this kid can effortlessly dive down depths of nine feet and retrieve toys. He's like an awesome dog that you won't ever have to pay a pet deposit for.
[Mute the volume on this video before watching it, otherwise it's completely ruined]
All [okay, maybe not all, but a lot of] the soccer greats are known by just one name: Ronaldo, Messi, Pelé, Kaká, Xavi, Fernandinho, Neymar, Pepe, Oscar—and that's just to name a few.
Three-year-old Bouchy has a name that just sounds like it was meant to be in that list. Not that the name alone will get him there, but it looks like he's got more than his name going for him.
I won't claim this to be a scientific study, but based upon my own personal experiences and the anecdotal evidence of friends, it's damn hard to stand up on a surfboard. And staying up? Even harder.
Anytime I see someone actually surfing—professionally or just as a hobby—I'm impressed. Not just because surfing itself is hard, but because being in the ocean can be scary at times.
This is what makes four-year-old Eliana's video montage so jaw-dropping. The future heart-breaker [boys love the surfer girls] is catching waves effortlessly after just four months of surfing.
I'm pretty sure this kid's parents are both extreme-sport junkies that procreated for the specific purpose of creating the most extreme baby/kid of all time. His dad is already his biggest fan [read the video description].
Seriously though, why else would they have named him Brody Diesel True? We're never going to have a President Brody D. True—that's a fact. You'll never meet a doctor or lawyer who goes by Diesel.
BMX Brody was born to…BMX [uh duh]. Thank heaven he's damn good at it, otherwise this whole experiment would have been a truly regrettable failure.
Just two years old when this video was posted, this kid is making a case for skipping the tee ball phase and jumping right into little league action. Hell, maybe the Astros should sign him now.
He appears to have mastered the art of keeping his eye on the ball and once he's taller than the bat he's swinging, he'll be making pitchers miserable for many years to come.
Unless, of course, some idiot MLB hitting coach ruins him.
At just three years old, this toddler is taking full advantage of the total lack of fear most of us replace with a melange of anxieties by the time puberty is in full swing.
Right now he's still blissfully unaware that one slip-up could put in a cast for a few months. So this little dude can still confidently slice through the powder, passing chumps along the way.
You know that when he zips past some skier who just went tumbling into the packed snow, that the bruised and embarrassed person fills with rage at the sight of a toddler's ass fading on the horizon.
Denver native Brayden Bozak was just midway through the terrible twos in this clip, which has generated the kind of buzz that helped propel Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy into the PGA spotlight long before they joined the tour.
While some of the awesome athletic feats of the youngest boys and girls get an assist from their munchkin stature and other innate advantages, hitting a golf ball—and hitting it well—is a unique skill at any age. Have you ever been to a golf range? Yikes.
Bozak was crushing drives at two-and-a-half, so don't be surprised if he's on the Masters leader board sometime around 2025.
Baseball prodigy Ariel Antigua was swinging around a bat before he could walk, talk or even stand on his own. Which, now that I think about it, actually sounds a little dangerous—I'm envisioning baby Ariel flailing a bat around in one of those out-of-control bouncy swings.
Anyway. For a lucky few, a sport like baseball just comes naturally; like it's in their DNA. Kids like Ariel instinctively pick up the game, so while other kids struggle to learn the fundamentals, he's already moved on and started working on other aspects of his game.
When sharing the same park, Matty "Shreds" undoubtedly upstages more than a few skaters with two decades of experience on him. Fearlessly navigating ramps and axle-grinding at just three years old, he's a legit skating prodigy.
Matty is fortunate enough to not only have a preternatural ability to deftly ride a skateboard, but to have it for something that is almost universally thought of as cool. [Sorry computer nerds] And he's probably got the coolest parents in town, too.
Whoever uploaded this video of diminutive gymnast Konnor McClain asked the question: Is this the best four-year-old gymnast in the world? This little girl is pretty epic, so it's a fair question.
Now, I haven't seen many four-year-old gymnasts—if any, prior to today—but I certainly wouldn't dispute the claim if someone made it. This little girl can fling herself across the room like a freaking rubber band.
Overall, very impressive. Unfortunately the soundtrack for the video is substantially less impressive.
File this clip under category: Unwitting Participant? (along with surfing goats and monkeys riding dogs). It seems Australians have a more laissez-faire approach to parenting than I'm used to. Ya know, live and let live. Sink or swim. Survival of the fittest.
Though this baby's level of enthusiasm for the stunt is questionable, it's impossible not to be impressed by those little egg-roll arms keeping seven-month-old Ryder upright.
Considering some adults learn to water-ski in similar fashion—yet still plant their face in the water a few dozen times—this fella is a burgeoning athlete whose natural prowess surely puts most of us balance-challenged grownups to shame.
Child-athlete phenoms are three parts awesome and one part depressing. At least that's the case for anyone still holding out hope that enough drive and determination will eventually translate to some modicum of success on the court.
Chronicling Thompson's growing skills as adora-baller from age two to age four, this video offers clear proof that even before stepping foot into a kindergarten classroom, Thompson is already better at basketball than most people in the world.
Ya better watch your back, LeBron, little Thompson is comin' for your job!
Now don't go running to put your head in the oven just yet.
Yes, there's an army of children out there who, despite having the bathroom habits of a rambunctious puppy and the erratic walking patterns of a drunk old man, are already better than most of us.
But! The vast majority of them are just clumsy idiots—just like we were at that age. Being the best at something very few people have to worry about in life. So just make sure you're not the worst and you're golden.
**Speaking of being not the worst, you should follow me on Twitter. I promise it will be a decidedly mediocre experience: Follow @blamberr