#90: What You Can’t Control About Your Daughter’s Mental Game…And What To Do About It

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As a sports mom, I know you want your athlete daughter to be confident, achieve her goals and enjoy what she’s doing. I also know that many of you take it upon yourself to ensure that this happens for your daughter. You do things like get her to practice, allow her to try out for the right teams, buy her the gear, get private coaching, and so much more. 

You provide all these opportunities for her in terms of her physical preparation. And then there’s the pep talks, the shoulder to cry on, the tough love. There’s so much that goes into this journey!

While there’s a lot that you can control and should hone in on and maximize, we’re going to talk specifically about some things you don’t have control over. I see a lot of female athlete moms get it wrong as they mix up what they can control with what they can’t control, especially when it comes to their daughter’s mental game.

So, here are some aspects of your daughter’s game over which you have no control:

#1: Her Outcomes

Her outcomes, or the results she achieves on the court/field/mat, are beyond your control. This includes how many points she scores, whether she wins or loses, how quickly she learns, the team she forms, or the position she performs on her team.

When she plays a team sport, there’s another team involved which makes the outcome uncontrollable. There are coaches’ decisions. There are ref calls. There are so many other things that go into an outcome that it’s not a hundred percent in your daughter’s control.

Her outcomes are ultimately not in her control and they aren’t in your control either. The more you focus on the outcomes, the more pressure she feels.

Instead: Let go of the focus on outcomes. Embrace the focus on process, her enjoyment, and improvement.

Let’s stop measuring success by how much she’s winning. I’m not saying that you ignore them. Recognize them. 

But then let’s go to the process; shift focus to what’s the process that got her that outcome. 

#2: Her Thoughts

You can influence her thoughts about herself by what you say and do. Your words become her inner voice. You can influence, but you can not control this part of your daughter’s mental game. You can’t control her thoughts. 

You need to let go of trying to change her and trying to change her mind. 

Instead: Control your thoughts and words! What you think about yourself and what you say out loud about yourself are incredibly powerful when it comes to your daughter’s confidence. You can influence her thoughts about herself, by what you say and do with her. 

This is also why she must have good mental training opportunities and skills to shift her own self-talk. 

#3: Her Interests/Passions

Let her be the leader of her sports journey. What she wants might be different than what you’re interested in or want. What she wants might be different than what you want for her. 

This also includes her motivation – you can’t control that either.

Instead: Ask her what her goals are. Ask her how you can support her in those goals. Be the example of how to go after your goals through your actions!

You can’t control her passions. And this also includes her motivation. You can’t control how motivated she is either. We just have to let our daughters experience the natural consequences of what they do or don’t do and including the consequences of these actions.

Letting our daughters experience those things on their own is just like being the most powerful teacher ever. 

Allow them to learn how to redirect their focus on the things they can control. 

By knowing what’s in your control you can:

  1. Shape the environment – through your thoughts, words, and actions. How you show up influences the environment in which she is in every day! You impact her confidence through your own beliefs, words, and actions.
  2. Provide the opportunities – give her chances to work on her mindset, grow her game, and do the things she loves!

Let go of focusing on her outcomes and stop worrying about the losses even if you’re a competitive person. If you are competitive, focus on the process. 

Don’t worry if she decides to shift her sport, you can’t control her passion. The best thing you can do is encourage that, cultivate it, and allow her to trust herself for what’s working. And when it’s not working, encourage her to follow her gut and let it go. 

Start by being a role model for her and by giving her the chance to train her mental game. 


Helpful Links:

  • Join our FREE training for Sports Moms – How To Strengthen Your Athlete Daughter’s Mental Game Without Being Pushy Or Saying The Wrong Thing.
  • Join us inside our FREE Facebook Group – The Elite Competitor Society – for weekly Q&A, periodic trainings and challenges, and the support of an amazing community of moms, coaches, and the men who partner with us!

The BEST way to help us spread the word and get this information into the hands of millions of parents, coaches, and female athletes is by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thank you in advance for joining us on our mission!

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