#101: Q&A: “When Other People Say Unhelpful Things To My Daughter…What Do I Do?!”

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As a mom of female athletes, we always try our best to say the right things to our daughters. We’ve all been learning to show up and influence them in a good way, but what do we do when other people say unhelpful things to our daughters? 

Here’s a question from one of our sports moms.

” I agree 100% with you when you say. And that our words become our thoughts. But how do we approach what our athlete daughters hear from close friends and neighbors?”

This isn’t an unusual thing to worry about since we don’t know what happens outside, or when we’re not around. Today we’re going to talk about the answer to this concern and what we can do about it instead. 

What We Can’t Do:

If you’ve been listening to our previous podcasts, we all learned to be intentional in how we show up for our daughters. This is easy to do since we have full control of ourselves, but what about the things our daughters learn from the people around us?

We don’t have control of the people around us. 

So, what can we do? How do we approach the conflicting messages they hear from close friends and neighbors? Can we do something to stop them from hearing it? 

The answer is WE CAN’T.

We can’t control what other people say to our daughters. We can’t just pick and choose what goes inside our daughter’s head.

What We Can Do:

We can only control what we say. We can only control how we can empower our daughters to receive the information that she is hearing from other people. So, we can’t control what other people might say, but our daughters can be very intentional about what they choose to interpret from what they hear. 

That is what’s in our control in this situation.

So for example, you can see to it that you’re focusing on your daughter’s process more than the outcome she’s getting in her sports. It’s because when we focus more on the outcomes, like the scores, how many goals she scored, her points, and her stats, we are unintentionally hurting her confidence long-term. She’s going to be putting more pressure on herself and there’s going to be more expectations. We kind of tied her worth with those things. 

Shift into focusing on the process like her work ethic, her attitude, being a good teammate, her mindset, and focusing on what’s in her control. 

3 Levels To Help Her Shift Focus

Shifting your daughter’s focus from the outcome to the process isn’t that easy to do. It doesn’t work smoothly, especially if you have a family member who is just doing the opposite. There could be someone else close to your daughter that’s just focusing on the number of goals that your daughter is scoring or the outcome. As we previously stated we can’t block or stop that messaging from entering our daughter’s thoughts.

So, here are the 3 levels of what you can do to help your daughter shift focus. 

Level #1:

Ensure you are focusing on the process, and be aware of what you’re saying out loud. Give her the skills to know what to focus on. You can introduce her to mental game training like ECP.

Remember that you are the closest, most influential person in your daughter’s life. As a mom, what you’re saying holds more weight than other people. 

Athletes that are in the elite competitor program, get good at noticing their thoughts and noticing what other people are saying, and deciding for themselves. When you have an athlete that’s empowered and confident, then you don’t have to worry as much about what other people are saying to her. You know that she is strong internally and knows how to process some of those thoughts and those things that she’s hearing. She can determine for herself if it’s productive for her. 

Level #2:  

Talk to your daughter about what you heard. For example, you overhear someone talking to her about the outcomes and things that you’re trying to help your daughter shift away. What you can do is, talk to your daughter afterward about what you heard. Remind her that the most important thing is not the outcome but the process. It’s about her showing up, having fun, working hard, and putting into practice what she learned. 

Whenever you notice what somebody else is saying, bring it up to your daughter so that she can intentionally shift and be reminded.

Level #3:

Talk to the person about what the goals are & set boundaries.

You can talk to the person and set some boundaries. So if you keep hearing someone say things that would astray your daughter’s focus, you can talk to that person. 

This might sound potentially scary, but you are your daughter’s advocate and you gotta trust your gut as a mom too. Stand up for your daughter if you must. You can do that respectfully and talk to that person about what you’re working on together with your daughter. You can explain to the other person that you wanted to shift focus from the outcome to the process, and the result that you’re hoping to achieve. 


You can’t control what other people might say. There’s nothing we can do to stop it. All we can do is control ourselves and empower our daughters with the skills that they need. We can use these three levels to help our daughters strengthen their thoughts and shift focus.

Level #1: Ensure you are focusing on the process

Level #2: Talk to your daughter after about what you heard

Level #3: Talk to the person about what the goals are & set boundaries

As a mom, you have all the power to give opportunities for your daughter to learn and be equipped mentally. It is simply because you’re the biggest influence in your daughter’s life.

In The Elite Competitor Program, we teach moms what they can be saying and doing to ensure that their athlete daughters are developing confidence in the long-term. So make sure that you’re doing that work and just be aware of what you’re surrounding your daughter with. It’s also really important that she has the mental skills to be able to distinguish between thoughts and words that are helpful to her and thoughts and words that are not helpful to her. 


Helpful Links:

  • Join our FREE training for Sports Moms – How To Strengthen Your Athlete Daughter’s Mental Game So She Believes In Herself As Much As You Do.

The BEST way to help us spread the word and get this information into the hands of millions of parents, coaches, and female athletes is by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thank you in advance for joining us on our mission!

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