Do you want to improve communication with your athlete daughter? Do you feel like you’re hitting a wall because you’re not sure what to say, and no matter how you try to connect with her, you feel like she shuts down?
Today we’re catching up with Lauren, a mom who has been walking alongside her daughter through the Elite Competitor Program (ECP). We previously talked to Lauren in Episode 120 right before her and her daughter, Lyla, were about to get started together. At the time this episode was recorded, they were 4 weeks into the program.
Lauren shares with us how she’s already seen improvement in their communication in just 4 short weeks. She also shares how the program is going, what they’ve both learned so far, and her hopes for their growth as they continue the program together.
Lauren and Lyla’s Background
Lyla is a highly-driven, athletic 11-year-old basketball player and cheerleader. Lauren is an athlete too, and she describes herself as very similar to Lyla, meaning that she understands where Lyla’s coming from most of the time. As Lyla’s mom, Lauren wants to do what she can to support Lyla and not hinder her throughout her sports journey.
Lyla has been facing a mental block when it comes to her tumbling, and she’s had trouble throwing skills that she’s been able to throw previously. Although she’s still working through this, before starting ECP and now, Lyla continues to show up for every practice in hopes that working on the mental side of her game will help her move past it.
Mental blocks tend to be very common for athletes. At times, athletes can perform the skills they work on in practice, but in competition, performing the skill doesn’t happen for them. As moms, we want to support our daughters through any mental blocks they face. Our nature might tell us that we can “fix” it, but mental blocks aren’t normally something we can easily fix. Instead of trying to force a quick fix, we have to learn how to talk to our daughters about it.
What Lauren and Lyla Are Learning So Far
Lauren has learned that mental training is just as much about herself as it is about Lyla. She shares that she didn’t know what to say most of the time, and she really wanted to offer her support, but didn’t know how to best communicate it. As much as she tried to not ride the highs and the lows of Lyla’s sports journey with her, she mentions that it was really hard to not.
When Lauren once asked Lyla, “how can I best support you?” Lyla responded by saying, “you always have the right thing to say, you just don’t always say it at the right time.” Lauren shares that this moment was a big turning point for their relationship. Now that Lauren is aware, she’s working on saying the right things at the right time. Since starting the program, their communication has really opened up on both ends.
What Lauren Is Seeing In Lyla
Now that Lauren is approaching their conversations in a new way by letting Lyla be the driver, she’s seen Lyla become much more even-keeled. When they discuss things that previously may have caused Lyla to shut down or have a bigger reaction, she’s now much more willing to talk it out.
Since they’ve started ECP, there was an instance where Lyla’s basketball team had a tough game. On the car ride home, Lauren was sure to wait for Lyla to initiate any conversation about the game, but she never did. And when they got home, Lyla headed to her room for some time to process. After time had passed, Lauren then asked Lyla if she was ready to discuss the game, and started with questions that related to things that Lyla could control about the game.
She asked questions such as, “what do you think you did well?” and, “what could you do better next time?” By giving Lyla space after the game, letting her eventually drive the conversation, and focusing on outcomes, Lauren and Lyla were able to have a productive post-game conversation.
This is an example of how their relationship has improved, and Lauren has seen Lyla (and herself) grow! Lauren shares that she now feels like she has a guidebook on how to have better conversations with Lyla about her sports and more. When she feels like she doesn’t know what to say, referring back to her ECP work has allowed her to keep the conversation going.
How Lyla Is Liking The Program
On Wednesday evenings, you can find Lauren and Lyla posted up at their kitchen table, each doing their own ECP work. Lauren shares that not only is this good quality time together, but Lyla has expressed that the work she’s been doing on her end of the program has really made her think. They both look forward to their ECP work because it’s something they get to do together.
How Did Lauren Get Lyla On Board
Lauren shares that she introduced the idea of ECP to Lyla in a delicate way. When she first mentioned it, it was an average night over a holiday break. She mentioned that the program was something that they could do together to work on the mental side of Lyla’s training.
Lyla took it in for a minute, and then responded with, “oh, another person to try to fix me.” And of course, this broke Lauren’s heart! But Lauren was able to reassure her that ECP was a program that not only they would do together, but she would get to meet and talk to other girls her age who are going through the same things, and that she’d be able to see she’s not alone.
In that moment Lauren could tell that Lyla needed to sit on it for a bit – and that’s exactly what they did. Lauren would present it to her here and there when the time was right, but she made sure not to push or pressure Lyla into it. It took some time, but finally Lyla hit a point where she realized on her own that going through ECP and working on the mental side of her training would be helpful to her.
What Lauren Would Say To Moms Who Are On The Fence
Lauren wants moms to know that if they’re looking for ways to support their athlete daughters and open the lines of communication, it’s worth the time to explore it. Even though they’re only half way through the program so far, she’s seeing so many benefits. Not only is what they’re learning applicable to what they’re going through now, but Lauren even sees how this will be useful information for years to come.
As a mom, Lauren shares that she is always questioning herself with concerns like, “am I saying the right thing?” or, “am I doing the right thing?” But now, she’s gaining confidence as a mom, and she knows that she can be what her kids need her to be, when they need her to be it.
Lauren and Lyla, we’re so grateful to have you both in the ECP community. We’re so proud of you for all the hard work you’ve put in so far, and for the ways you continue to show up!
- Come hang out with Lauren on social @runawayjursit and follow her and Lyla’s journey through The Elite Competitor Program!
- Visit our podcast website for more on this episode.
- 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