#109: How To Find The Joy In Sports Again w/ Swim Athlete Mia & Mom Shenique

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Are you starting to notice your daughter’s love for the game decrease? What used to be so fun is starting to feel like a burden.

A lot of athletes struggle to overcome mistakes. Some female athletes over-critique themselves and get drowned by the stress and pressure of things outside their control.

And sometimes, moms/parents contribute to their pressure, overwhelm, and waning love for their sport.

As moms, how can we reignite the spark and joy that our daughter once had with her love of her sport?

Our guests today are Mia, a 15 year old competitive swimmer, and her mom Shenique and they will talk to us about their experience and how they cope with all the struggles we’ve mentioned.

Mia and her mom joined The Elite Competitor Program. And both of them have some wonderful insights from their sports journey before and during ECP. 

Here’s how both of them rediscovered fun and joy in their sports journey.

What was your experience in swimming before ECP? 

When Mia started ECP, she had just gotten out of her main competition season. 

She was competing for her country, the Bahamas, and there was a lot of stress. It was her time for a break and she was trying to relax her body and mind from all the stress during those 6 months of competition.

Mia was in the resting phase before joining ECP, but her mom was admittedly at a point of frustration before joining ECP. She shared:

“I was a frustrated swim mom. I was doing everything wrong. I realized that once I came into ECP, but I was a frustrated mom before. I was the mom that was focusing on the results. I was just doing everything wrong as far as a mom, except making sure they have healthy snacks at the meet.” 

Shenique always wanted to make sure everything was done right, and after joining ECP, she realized all her wrong ways of supporting. Although Mia didn’t notice it coming from her mom, she was more stressed out and she blamed herself a lot when she made mistakes.

“Why am I not swimming well? And that would cloud my judgment towards thinking, “why am I swimming in the first place if I’m not doing good?” -Mia, ECP athlete

It came to a point where swimming doesn’t equate to fun or passion but instead equates to stress.

What are the changes after joining ECP? 

Competitions are hard, but after joining ECP Mia learned not to beat herself up too much. She learned to take a second to breathe, take a break and refocus. She rediscovered the joy in doing her sports and did not dwell on the pressure and stress of it all. 

The ability to take a break and breathe is a skill. Most athletes just kind of go with their brain’s natural way of keeping themselves safe, which is beating themselves up and criticizing.

Shenique started to notice Mia not being so hard on herself when she started ECP. Mia would ask for feedback but she is good at taking constructive critique now and isn’t holding on to the mistakes like she did before.

“ECP is eye-opening” – Shenique

Having the right mental skills will help her realize that her self-worth is not attached to her outcome in sports. And it will help female athletes learn to focus on things in control rather than other things that are outside one’s control. 

“ECP is a life-saver… A very good friend of ours sent us something that said leveling up. I’m not sure exactly what it was but it was a clipping or something short that said leveling up. And I clicked on the link and you guys popped up. And then I listened to a few of the podcasts… this is what we need.” – Shenique

It was exactly what Shenique needed at the moment. Especially because nobody coaches the parents in this sports journey. ECP was a way for Shenique to notice where she had opportunities to better support her daughter. She learned a better way to help Mia improve versus criticizing and complaining about mistakes or underperformance.

What changes did you do to support your female athlete?

“I have to be intentional. It wasn’t easy…it was hard. But I sat back and focused on what I needed to be doing. Not yelling, not screaming, just calm. Like just giving her good vibes. She sees me put my hand to my chest, put up a love sign or something. and at the end of the game when we were leaving I went to Mia and asked, ‘Did you have fun?’ And I hugged her. And she said, ‘Mom, you’re so calm. What’s happening, mom?'” -Shenique

Eating dinner after the game or a quiet drive home became a good routine for both of them, versus the old days of criticism, probing questions, and uncomfortable time together. 

How did this impact your mom-daughter relationship? 

Now they conversate and communicate a lot. Mia became more open to her mom and she was able to tell her mom what she genuinely feels.

They don’t only talk about swimming, but they are now talking about other things, which is a sweet sign of a closer bond.

“I think when it comes down to trust, the way we trust each other personally, like, she trusts me to get my schoolwork done, she knows that I’m gonna get my schoolwork done. I’m gonna have straight A’s. She knows I’m going to go to practice, I’m going to practice hard. So she doesn’t always have to be there like over me while I do my stuff. And it’s also something that the coaches noticed” -Mia

Shenique started to learn the mental skills to be the mom her daughter needs her to be. 

To let go of control and fully trust her daughters’ decisions in life is not easy, but Shenique saw the importance of it and tried her best to be the best support her daughter needs, and it is what she needs too. 

How did they fit ECP into their full schedule? 

Shenique and Mia have a full schedule. At first, ECP was another thing in their busy schedule, along with all her skill specific coaching. 

Shortly into the program, they both realized the power behind strengthening the mental game and created better balance and focus on the program lessons. Shenique also loves the unlimited access to the training and often watches training again for a refresh or to catch things she may have missed the last time.

Mia, what message do you want to share with your fellow athletes?

” Take your time. Be patient with yourself. It’s all new information and it’s a lot at one time. So take your time. Don’t feel pressured. I know that we can be very hard on ourselves. Regardless of wherever the sport is, as teenagers we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. And we have others already putting pressure on us. So take your time. Be patient, you’re human, and it’s okay. If you make a mistake. You can come back later and you can always try again. There’s always going to be another opportunity. So have that patience.” – Mia


Every mom-daughter relationship is different. So, first of all, look at yourself and see what you can do better. Have the vulnerability to trust and share your feelings. Female athletes often feel tremendous pressure and being able to talk about their experience is of great benefit in rediscovering her love for her sport.


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.

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