LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - Zac Miller started wakeboarding at just four years old.
Just a few years later, Zac, who's now nine, is a regional and national champion. He'll compete for a world championship this week in Mexico.
Zac, who attends Saltillo Elementary, says it all started at a lake house with a few friends.
“I invited a couple of friends, well, this is how I think it happened. I’m pretty sure that they had a wakeboard and they tried it," he said.
“When your kids are older, they will so much appreciate you being there," said Bryan Miller, Zac's father. "I didn’t have that when I was growing up, my parents being there in the stands while I was playing basketball, and I just want to make it a point no matter what my son does I'm there supporting him.”
Zac's coach, Nathan Strange, also competed in the world wakeboard championships.
“To ride in cold weather - I mean, right now it’s 69 degrees and Zac’s teeth are chattering - but he’s out here with the passion and the drive to do better and to be a world champion and that’s what it takes," Strange said.
Zac says taking a hard fall in the water can be rough, but he's determined never to quit.
“I’m scared if I don’t get up I won’t do it again," Zac said. "The next time that I take one I’m not going to want to do it again so that’s why I keep doing it.”
Bryan Miller says that mindset pushed Zac to wakeboarding's biggest stage.
“There’s going to be a world champion crowned. and to think that my son could have a chance at being (champion at) nine years old it’s pretty special," Bryan Miller said. "This is a life lesson that if you work hard, some good things can come from it.”