Mom and dad, as you read this you may be tempted to feel guilty, convicted, etc. That's not the goal here, the goal is to bring to light something that 99.9% of us never realize.
What we post about on social media about our kids absolutely determines if they become addicted to achievement or not. What we talk about most often, what we take them out to dinner for, give them gifts for, or celebrate them enthusiastically for determines if they become achievement addicted or not.
"I must achieve to be loved"
This is the sad, all too common belief system that most student athletes (and most of us) grew up with and now it is SUCH a part of our makeup that we don't even know where to start to deconstruct it. I give 4 specific examples for parents at the end here.
In my first book, The Youth Truth, I share countless practical examples of what parents should start doing and stop doing to give their athlete the best chance (we do live in an achievement society at the end of the day so you can't fully control this) at not feeling these feelings and thinking these thoughts-- "I must achieve to be loved."
Many of us know the experience of being approved for what we do. Few of us know the experience of being loved for being just who we are.
Which is MOST important to you (knowing that both can happen if we do it right)? That your athlete ACHIEVES or that they become who they really are and own those part of themselves?
4 ways to make sure I do MY part to help my athlete avoid achievement addiction
1. Analyze your passion levels. Make sure your enthusiasm and passion level when you talk about sports is equal to other areas of their life that are actually most important.
2. Stop posting all of their accolades on social media, they see it and it makes them addicted to it. Yep, I'm going to stand firm on this one. If you are just trying to update your uncle and aunt in Wyoming, just send them the picture ;-) There's a difference between making an end of season post to let everyone know you are proud of your child and their team (good) and posting only and often when they score, earn 1st team, get scholarship offers, etc.
3. Work on your own achievement addiction. Do you feel loved, accepted, and respected regardless of the money you make, the job you have, and the accomplishments of your kids? I know I need to work on this everyday to get my heart posture right.
4. Celebrate them being them. When you see them displaying their quirky, silly traits, point it out celebrate them being them. When you see them display that special trait of empathy, get excited about it and point it out. When you see them raising their hand and choosing to speak up, celebrate those traits of courage and boldness.
Dedicated to your athlete's success on and off the field,
Coach Andrew J Simpson
P.S. When you are ready to get your athlete the COACHING they need to avoid going down the common paths of achievement addiction, self doubt, sports anxiety, and comparison, here are 3 ways to work with my team and I:
1. Apply for 1 on 1 Mindset Coaching
2. Test Drive the Monthly Winning Athlete Inner Circle Free for 30 Days
3. Get my Books + Mindset Bonuses