#158: The #1 Tip To Help Your Athlete Deal with a Challenging Coach

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Ever wondered how to handle those tricky encounters with challenging coaches?

Today, we’re tackling a topic that resonates with many of us: dealing with challenging coaches. If you’re wondering how to support your athlete through this, you’re in the right place!

Community Shout Out

But first, let’s give a big shout out to Katie, a mom in our community who’s seeing great results with her daughter in our mental training program, The Elite Mental Game. Her daughter’s team just snagged second place out of 97 teams! It’s incredible to see the positive changes. So, kudos to Katie and her athlete!

Alright, let’s get straight into it. Today, I want to share my top two tips for helping your athlete navigate a challenging coach. Yes, I’m breaking my own rule of having just one number one tip, but trust me, both of these are essential.

Tip 1: Shift Your Mindset

The first tip is all about perspective. If your athlete’s coach is challenging but not abusive, it’s vital to change your mindset. Instead of seeing it as a problem that needs fixing, view it as an opportunity for growth. This is a crucial life lesson for your child. In sports, as in life, we often encounter people we don’t click with. Learning how to navigate such situations is a valuable skill. Your athlete won’t always be able to change her circumstances, so let this experience be a chance to develop resilience and adaptability.

Tip 2: Avoid Badmouthing the Coach

My second, number one tip is: never badmouth the coach in front of your daughter. This is equally important. It’s tempting to vent your frustrations or share your opinions, but doing so can make the situation worse. Your words can damage the athlete-coach relationship and create unnecessary drama. While you can have discussions about the coach with others, avoid negative comments in your daughter’s presence.

Dealing with Challenging Coaches: Helping Your Athlete Navigate the Situation

So, what can you do to support your athlete through this challenging coach situation? Let’s break it down:

Inside Out Approach

Start by strengthening your athlete’s mental game. Teach her that she controls her thoughts, attitudes, effort, and response to the coach. Confidence is an inside job, and it’s crucial to empower her to protect it. We provide mental training in our program, but you can also join our free training sessions for sports moms to learn more.

Provide Support

Ensure your athlete is surrounded by support. Listen to her, validate her feelings, and ask open-ended questions that encourage her to think critically. Create an environment where she feels safe discussing her experiences. Make sure she has friends and teammates she can confide in and process interactions with. Don’t rely solely on the coach for her mental development; it’s a joint effort.

Teach Advocacy

Empower your athlete to advocate for herself. Equip her with the skills to communicate effectively with her coach. Use the five-step framework:

  1. Get clear on what you want to discuss
  2. Schedule a meeting.
  3. Prepare your talking points.
  4. Listen to understand the coach’s perspective.
  5. Follow up as needed.

Encourage her to ask questions and seek clarity when things are unclear. This helps her become a solution-oriented athlete.

The Bottom Line

Dealing with a challenging coach can be a valuable learning experience for your athlete. By shifting your perspective, avoiding negative comments, and supporting your athlete’s mental game, you’ll help her grow both on and off the field.

Remember, we offer free training sessions for sports moms to learn more about these strategies. Your athlete’s journey can be a rewarding one, and your support plays a crucial role. Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll catch you in the next episode of the Raising Elite Competitors Podcast!

Episode Highlights:

[02:03] How to deal with a challenging coach?

[05:17] How to see this as a good thing for your athlete.

[08:53] Advice on how to deal with adversity.

[12:40] How to help your athlete talk to her coach?

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