As a sports mom, you know first hand that there are times where your daughter is down and out. Maybe she’s feeling frustrated with her performance, she’s being super negative, or maybe she’s getting caught up in that downward spiral.
We’re going to talk about that today. How do you help support your athlete when she is beating herself up?
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Alright, let’s talk about what to do when your daughter is being negative!
Nod your head if you’ve ever heard any of these from your daughter:
- Only wants to talk about the things she did wrong in a game
- Every time you give her a compliment she turns it negative or says “you have to say that, you’re my mom!”
- Nothing is ever good enough
I frequently ask moms in our community what they struggle with most in supporting their athlete daughter and “Negative Mindset” is always a top response!
Here’s what you need to know:
- Believe they have to be hard on themselves in order to play well, otherwise they’re letting their guard down
- Don’t want others to believe they think they’re “too good.” It’s safer to focus on their flaws & mistakes… and be liked
- Don’t know the difference between thought and fact; they believe everything they think
As her mom, you want:
Believe in herself
Notice the positives too
Recognize all the great things she did
Know that she is good enough, no matter what anyone else might say
Have positive self-talk
Be proud of herself
So you…try to help by giving her advice and encouragement
- “Focus on the positives”
- “You did so many great things out there today, too!”
- “You’re just as good as everyone else”
- “You’re not chubby, you’re beautiful”
- “You do belong on this team”
- “They do like you”
Unfortunately, telling isn’t teaching. Just telling her things isn’t actually teaching her how to overcome her own limiting beliefs and shift her negative self-talk into something more productive.
Plus, your daughter doesn’t need you telling her everything. Your daughter needs her mom… and then to learn the skill of shifting her own thoughts.
You can’t do this for her. This is one space where she has to learn the skills to do it herself.
But there are a few things you must do to help…
#1 – Stay in your role:
- Shape the environment
- Provide opportunities
#2 – Understand where she’s coming from:
- Validate her experience
- Know that this is part of her psychology as a person & athlete
- Remember that the brain’s #1 job is to keep us safe
- Research shows that people tend to focus more on the negative as they try to make sense of their experiences (Negativity Bias)
#3 – Provide HER the tools she needs to help herself. The could look like:
- Sharing our new Athlete Tip podcast episodes
- Enrolling her in The Elite Competitor Program
- Helping her strengthen her mental game
Your daughter’s role:
While you are doing your own work to support her, her role is to start recognizing these negative thoughts, evaluate her performance, shift her thinking, not attach her self-worth to her performance.
But she needs the tools to do this. It isn’t innate for our brains to process in this manner unless we’re taught how to do so. Our more natural response is to notice the negative and be hard on ourselves. If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced this and know exactly what I’m talking about.
However, it is totally possible:
- for your daughter to have a productive way to process her experiences and emotions
- for her to not be on a roller coaster of emotions that she falls whim to and feel confident instead
- to not have a miserable car ride home after competitors
- to not have her emotions hijack the dinner table
It just starts with doing the work!
You can get started by joining our free training for Sports Moms that is happening now! Learn exactly how to get started with mental training for your athlete daughter! We’ll be going over our proven Unstoppable Athlete Method to teach you the first steps to strengthening her mental game so she believes in herself as much as you do!
Register at: trainhergame.com