Communication between parents and athletes is important, there’s no denying that. But what if they start to communicate less?
Some parents conclude that this situation comes with age. As their children get older, they tend to communicate less. That’s true. When that happens, we just have to respect them, and give them the space they need, but another reason why they communicate less is because we’re not asking better questions. Having better questions enables opportunities for our daughters to talk.
What can we do when that situation arises?
Dive in to learn about simple ways to increase your communication with your athlete daughter!
Giving The Opportunity for Your Daughter to Open Up
How do you give an opportunity for your daughter to open up?
I want to share with you a comment from Nicole, one of our Elite Competitor Program moms, that she shared after working through our Powerful Pep-Talk phase. If you’re not familiar, it is part of our Elite Competitor Program, a mental training program for female athletes, and in that program we train both the athlete and their moms on how to have Powerful Pep Talks.
Here’s what she said,
“I love this lesson and the reminder of my role as a parent and to keep it simple. I’m also grateful for more dialogue that’s opening up with my daughter, who came to me this weekend saying: you said to let me know if there’s something you can do better to support me. And honestly, it would be helpful if you smile more at me. Even when something doesn’t go well on the court, it makes me feel positive.”
This is a result of our mental training program. Learning is power. We teach moms what to say before, during, and after competitions and how to strengthen their mental game, how to work on their own confidence, because we know how it influences their daughters.
Their daughters also work on themselves through the athlete modules.
I’m setting it as an example of what happens when moms give their best to learn how to support their daughters in a better way.
Our female athletes have four main phases in their athletic journey:
The Ongoing Training Phase.
Her day-to-day practice where most of her confidence is developed. Affirmations are important in this phase to keep your female athlete motivated.
The Pre-Competition Phase.
A time before she competes where she mostly feels anxious. What you say to your daughter during this phase is important because it can either help her play with a great mindset, or hurt her. Make sure that what you say to her during this phase is supportive and something she really needs.
The During Competition Phase.
This is when your daughter is out there competing. During this phase, it is important that she stays focused and stays in the present moment. What you do on the sidelines can actually keep her in flow state or take her out of it. In The Elite Competitor Program, we teach moms a lot about body language on the sideline and what to say.
The Post-Competition Phase.
This is also called “the car ride home”. It’s when your athlete is reflecting on what she did out there, the good and bad. A lot of athletes we work with are very critical of themselves. They always think about what they did wrong. Knowing what to say during this phase would help them move forward and grow.
In ECP, we teach moms how to approach your athlete in each of these four phases and what Nicole wrote is a powerful indicator of good results that stemmed from giving opportunities for learning and developing mental skills.
Two Keys to Know What Your Daughter Needs
It’s a relief to think about your daughter advocating for what she needs from you.
By giving the opportunities to train her mental skills, Nicole’s daughter learned to be vocal and specific about what she needs from her mom, and that’s how Nicole opened up this opportunity for her daughter to open up.
So how does this happen? How can you help apply this with your daughter?
Well, there’s two keys here:
1. Shape the environment.
When we talk about shaping the environment, we’re talking about your verbal and your nonverbal communication with your daughter. We teach things that we can say to build long term confidence in your daughter and how you show up for her as her role model. So, make sure that you’re investing in opportunities to learn how to shape the environment for your daughter, and not just guessing what to do.
2. Provide the opportunities.
Provide opportunities for her not just outwardly, but also inwardly. Give her the opportunity to understand what she needs from you to get where she wants to be.
Overall, a simple thing that moms can do to increase communication with their daughter is by opening up the opportunity to ask:
“What can I do to support you?”
“What is helpful for me to say and do?”
Good communication happens when you give opportunities for your daughter to learn how to advocate for themselves and how to develop those mental skills.
- Join our FREE training for Sports Moms – How To Strengthen Your Athlete Daughter’s Mental Game Without Being Pushy Or Saying The Wrong Thing.
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