#47: The Essential Mindset Shift Every Sports Parent Needs

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So much of our frustration comes from our own expectations of what we think “should” happen. 

Consider the concept of “working”:

  • “Is it working?
  • “It’s not working”
  • “Is this working?”

Mindset Shift:

“Don’t measure ‘working’ by your athlete’s behavior, but by your behavior”

Measure it by what is in our control:

  • Our own approach
  • Our own behavior

Instead of measuring it by our athlete’s behavior:

  • She’s upset after a loss
  • She feels like she let the team down (again)
  • She feels like she’s the worst one
  • She had a really good practice, then a really bad tournament

You can notice your own behavior/response/approach and measure your effectiveness and progress in things such as:

  • I didn’t swoop in an try to ‘fix’ her problem
  • I was able to provide space for her to express what she’s feeling
  • I didn’t start to panic when she went into a spiral on the court
  • I didn’t criticize her right after her competition
  • I asked open-ended questions and guided her to her own answers

Our athletes are still going to have hard practices, matches, situations. They are still going to have big emotions and disappointments. This is totally normal and developmentally appropriate.

Ex. She feels like she didn’t play well

Your job -> Hold space for her, validate that feeling, lead her towards the next right step

Might sound like -> You feel like you didn’t play your best. Tell me more about that. 

This could also sound like asking guiding questions, asking if you want to be a listener or provide your perspective. 

She might still respond with -> I still feel like I suck.

She probably WON’T respond with -> “Wow, I totally see my value and potential on the team now! Thanks!”

Going back to judging if ‘it’s working’, did you do your job? 

That can leave you with the sense of satisfaction (even if your athlete is still working through the situation). 

Your daughter might still act like you don’t know what you’re talking about, say “you have to say that, you’re my mom,” and maybe act as if nothing that you say matters. 

We can’t judge if “it’s working” based on those things. 

We judge it based on our ability to shape the environment through how we show up, and by continuing to provide the opportunities for her. 

Some moms think – she’s still struggling, she’s still doubting herself. It must not be working. 

We are thinking LONG TERM. And we know that we are watering the seed for more than just now, in the moment. 

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