#144: Helping Your Athlete Level-Up: How This Mom Did It (And How You Can, too!) With Mom Katie & Soccer Athlete Devon

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Are you a parent looking to help your daughter level up in her sports journey and play with unwavering confidence? You’re in the right place!

In this episode, we have a special interview with Katie, a soccer mom to Devon, a talented soccer player. We delve into Devon’s soccer journey, her struggles with self-doubt, and the strategies that helped her develop confidence. This insightful conversation highlights the key factors that contributed to Devon’s growth, with valuable takeaways for any parent looking to support their athlete’s development. Let’s dive in!

Before we dive into the interview, let’s acknowledge Devon’s recent achievements. After implementing the strategies discussed in the Elite Competitor Program, Devon earned a spot on the higher-level soccer team she had set her sights on. Her hard work, both physically and mentally, paid off, demonstrating the effectiveness of the techniques she employed. Congratulations, Devon!

About Katie and Devon

Hailing from New Jersey and currently residing in Dallas, Katie is the proud mother of two accomplished daughters. Ashley, aged 16, is a top-ranked archer in Texas, while Devon shines as a skilled soccer player and former elite competitive gymnast.

Devon’s gymnastic background surprises even those who know her well. She was once deeply involved in the competitive world of gymnastics, showcasing her skills and drive to succeed. Although she no longer participates at an elite level, Devon continues to channel her acrobatic talents through tumbling, displaying an impressive range of flips and tricks.

During our pre-recording conversation, we had a thought-provoking discussion about the nature of sports, specifically archery. While some might question its athletic nature, Devon says that it doesn’t really require the same level of coordination as traditional ball sports. However, Katie interjects, highlighting the mental fortitude required for success in archery, emphasizing that it is a sport demanding 99% mental focus and some arm strength.

As our conversation continued, Devon shared her current athletic pursuits. At the age of 13, she is a proud member of the Dallas Texans, a competitive soccer team. Although she recently joined the team, her journey in soccer began years ago, shortly after leaving the world of gymnastics behind. From her early days on YMCA teams to her current competitive endeavors, Devon has dedicated approximately 5 to 6 years of her life to honing her skills on the soccer field.

Getting Started: How the Competitive Program Transformed Devon’s Game

Before joining the program, Devon – a skilled midfielder – admitted that she lacked confidence on the field. Despite her talent, she often hesitated to take on opponents due to her smaller stature. She was scared of making mistakes, and she struggled to bounce back from any missteps during games. This led to a lack of self-belief, stopping her from reaching her full potential.

Katie noticed the potential within her daughter. However, she also saw Devon’s doubts and lack of self-assurance which was holding her back. Katie, being a positive and determined person herself, couldn’t understand why Devon wasn’t fully believing in her own abilities. She longed for a solution that could help Devon overcome her mental barriers and unleash her true potential. This is when she discovered the Elite Competitor Program. Initially hesitant to suggest it to her daughter, Katie noticed a glimmer of interest in Devon’s response – and with that, they decided to give it a try.

The program brought about a transformative change in Devon. It equipped her with valuable techniques and tools to overcome challenges and reset after mistakes. One particular technique that resonated with Devon was the “hashtag routine,” which helped her regain focus and composure in intense moments. The program also taught Devon that being an athlete entails experiencing a wide range of emotions, including mistakes, public failures, setbacks, and disappointments.

Making the Program Work for YOU

Devon was initially hesitant to join the program, but she decided to give it a try. And, as she delved deeper into the program, her perspective started to change. She realized that her mindset played an important role in her success. When she approached the program with enthusiasm and gave her full effort, she started seeing positive results.

Here are some of Devon’s favorite parts of the program:

Snapback Routine.

Overcoming setbacks and building confidence was one of Devon’s main challenges. Learning how to handle setbacks and bounce back from mistakes helped her regain her confidence. She discovered that she could recover from a bad pass or a missed dribble and use it as an opportunity to reset and refocus.

Visualization Techniques.

Devon found the visualization exercises, especially the whiteboard technique, to be valuable. These techniques allowed her to mentally visualize her actions and goals, enhancing her training and practice sessions.

The Power of Mindset.

I emphasized that the program wasn’t just about abstract concepts, but tangible tools and techniques. Devon realized that her mindset played a significant role in her performance, and by utilizing these techniques regularly, she could regulate her emotions and perform at her best.

On the other hand, Katie also shared her experience of learning how to support her daughter. Initially, Katie admitted to resorting to cliché phrases and attempts to dismiss nerves. However, through the program, she gained valuable insights on how to reframe nervousness as a sign of readiness. Katie also realized the importance of actively listening to Devon and adjusting her approach accordingly. She made a conscious effort to be more supportive and less focused on coaching during car rides home, enhancing their parent-child relationship.

Devon appreciates her mother’s unwavering positivity, even when she had a bad game. On the other hand, Devon’s dad used to offer her advice during games, which her coach didn’t appreciate since he wanted to be the one guiding me on the field. Fortunately, her dad has made progress in this aspect and has become more understanding. Overall, Devon appreciates the effort her parents made to understand and support her, allowing for a healthier dynamic within their family.

The Ripple Effect of One Small Thought (And the Importance of Prioritizing Goals)

The concept of the ripple effect is truly remarkable, and it highlights the power of a single thought. It only takes one small decision, one moment of choosing to focus on something positive, to set off a chain reaction of incredible events. It’s fascinating to see how your mindset can influence not only yourself but also those around you. By showing up with that mindset, you can spark motivation and excitement in others, leading to a series of positive outcomes. This also demonstrates the importance of prioritizing goals and consciously deciding where to direct our attention. It’s incredible to witness how a simple thought can expand and create a ripple effect of positivity and success.

How to Plan Ahead for Your Workouts: Tips from Katie And Devon

In terms of incorporating workouts into one’s daily routine, here are some tips from Katie and Devon:

Setting aside a time, establishing a routine – and sticking to it.

In Devon’s case, she leads a busy schedule, with just one day off a week. If she can find the time, anyone can. She has a private soccer lesson on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, making it clear that evenings aren’t suitable for mental training. Therefore, she plans ahead and ensures she does her mental exercises as soon as she gets home from school, around 3:45 PM.

Despite sometimes starting without her mom due to her sister’s archery practice, Devon understands the importance of getting it done and not wasting time on distractions. She knows that if she doesn’t do it early in the week, she may forget altogether, but she remains flexible and completes it on Wednesdays if necessary. Establishing a routine and treating it as a trigger has been effective for her.

Continue to motivate yourself.

As Devon progressed in the program and witnessed the benefits, she became self-motivated to continue. She saw it as a form of medicine that would enhance her performance in various aspects of her life. This internal motivation made the process smoother, as she took ownership of her mental training rather than solely relying on reminders from her mom.

Pace yourself.

Katie, as an at-home mom with more time available, had a different experience. She deliberately paced herself, avoiding rushing through the exercises to prevent them from becoming jumbled in her mind. Despite her inclination to multitask, she made a conscious effort to slow down, sit down, and pay attention to the exercises. This approach allowed her to fully engage with the program, which she found fascinating and beneficial for both herself and Devon.

Katie adds that the athlete’s part of the mental training takes around 30 to 40 minutes per week, which isn’t overly time-consuming. When considering the time spent on activities like watching a TV show or scrolling through social media, finding the time becomes more manageable. As for the mom’s side, some moms choose to listen to the exercises as podcasts while driving, maximizing their available time.

Devon encourages other athletes to give it a try, even if they are skeptical about its effectiveness. By genuinely investing their attention and effort, they may be surprised by the positive impact it can have. She believes that even experiencing improvement in just one area is valuable, and the program offers excellent advice.

On the other hand, Katie emphasizes that the program helps moms feel less helpless and more empowered in supporting their children’s pursuits. It provides a framework and an external perspective that lends credibility to their ideas and suggestions. She speaks highly of the program, describing it as ‘amazing’ and that it exceeded her expectations by a significant margin.

Final Thoughts

Talking to Katie and Devon has been truly inspiring. It was heartwarming to see a dedicated mother like Katie, who was determined to help her daughter reach her full potential in sports. Devon’s growth as an athlete, both physically and mentally, is a testament to their hard work and the effectiveness of the strategies they implemented.

One of the key takeaways from their story is the importance of mindset in sports. Devon’s initial lack of confidence held her back on the soccer field, but through the Elite Competitor Program, she learned valuable techniques to overcome challenges and reset after mistakes. The “hashtag routine” and visualization exercises were particularly impactful for her, enabling her to regain focus and composure in intense moments. She also discovered that being an athlete means experiencing a range of emotions and learning from setbacks and disappointments. As a coach, it’s wonderful to see athletes like Devon embracing the power of their mindset and witnessing the positive results that follow.

Katie and Devon’s journey is a shining example of the power of dedication, mindset, and support in helping athletes level up. It’s a reminder that with the right tools and a positive approach, athletes can overcome obstacles, believe in themselves, and achieve their goals. So, to all the parents out there, keep supporting and encouraging your athletes. And to all the athletes, believe in yourselves, embrace mental training, and keep pushing forward. Your potential knows no limits!

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Episode Highlights: 

[3:37] Devon’s transition from gymnast to soccer player. Devon also shares her experiences before joining the competitive program.

[9:36] Discussing what wasn’t working – and discovering it was time to make a change. Devon’s first thoughts on the program.

[12:28] When you decide this can work for you, it will. The power of giving full effort to the program. We also discuss Devon’s and Katie’s favorite parts of the program.

[18:25] We delve into Devon’s relationship with her parents and how it has changed since they got involved in the program.

[20:41] Preparing for the game with her dad.

[26:14] You can only control what you can, you can’t make everybody move the way you want.

[34:42] Katie talks about the ripple effect and the logistics of prioritizing a goal.

[36:55] How to plan ahead for your workouts. Katie and Devon share their experiences, as well as some useful tips and strategies.


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