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No room for couch potatoes

Rocklin’s Lane family stays on the ball
By: Jon Brines, Special to The Placer Herald
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A basketball scholarship to UCLA is a rare treasure, an honor that is not lost on Rocklin High’s Brendan Lane. When the talented 6-10 post player makes his way to Westwood next fall, it will be another in a long line of athletic accomplishments for the Lane family. With all of the demands on parents’ limited time, raising active children is difficult, perhaps more today than ever before. For Steve and Leila Lane, the choice to support the athletic activities of their children has brought balance and virtue to five young lives. “We (Steve and Leila) were good athletes but not spectacular,” Steve said. “(In our family) being a couch potato was not an option.” That simple mantra was implanted in the Lane family children at a young age and the children understood it. “Kids don’t always make the best decisions for themselves so parents have to push them into those good habits,” said oldest daughter Chelsea, a 21-year-old art major at Sacramento State University. Chelsea was on the Rocklin High School swimming and water polo teams and played youth softball and soccer. Chelsea, Dylan, Brendan, Olivia and Cody Lane all pride themselves on a multi-sport focus. Steve and Leila make a point of providing opportunities for their children to compete in any and all sports. While parents may often feel pressure to help their kids succeed in an increasingly winner-take-all society, the Lanes have resisted that pressure. “When you participate on a team you can’t be selfish and do stupid things,” Steve said. “You have an obligation to your team and you get involved with other people.” “We didn’t push them,” Leila said. “They always loved it. They were gifted naturally.” So far, two of the Lanes have taken their athletic talents to the collegiate level. Brendan, an 18-year-old senior, has accepted the scholarship to play basketball at an elite basketball school. Brendan was also first-team all-league in water polo and he swims and competes in jumping events on the track team. Dylan played football, basketball and track at Rocklin High School and is now a wide receiver on the football team at Sac State. “You have to set your goals and one step at a time and work hard at it,” Dylan said. “That transfers over to the classroom, business or whatever you are doing in life.” The family has all learned about having a good work ethic through participation in sports. “My mom was the one who, if you wanted to skip practice because you were sick, she was like - no,” Chelsea said. “You just don’t do that. It’s a good thing to learn that you can’t just wimp out.” The siblings all agree the Lanes are a tight group who understand the family that plays together stays together. “It was a step up against other players who didn’t have a brother to play against in their spare time,” Dylan said. Olivia, now a sophomore at Rocklin High School, competes in volleyball, basketball, track and girls soccer. Like her brothers and sisters, she is also a fan. “I loved going to my brothers’ games,” Olivia said. Leila said the teams have helped build her kids’ interpersonal skills because they become a social outlet. “My best friend and I started sports in first grade and we’ve been on all the same teams,” Olivia said. The five children agree they couldn’t have done this without mom’s organization, drive and even her rowdy support from the sideline. “She yells a lot,” Brendan said. “Even if she didn’t know what she was talking about, she would still be supportive,” Dylan said. Leila concedes the point. “I’m their fan,” she said. “I’m crazy, I’ve been called that but only in terms of enthusiasm.” With two kids already in college and Brendan not far behind, you would think things would be slowing down around the Lane house. But with Olivia playing three sports at Rocklin High and their youngest son, Cody, now in fifth grade, there are still many games and practices to go. Cody is already on his way, participating in flag football, soccer, AAU basketball and baseball. Steve recommends parents get their children involved in sports because it has certainly kept his kids out of trouble.