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Encouraging Your Athlete's Dreams OR Be Realistic?

When it comes to encouraging your athlete's dreams for a scholarship or to "go pro" VS. being realistic, here are my thoughts on what every parents and coach should do:

Resist the "mature adult" temptation to be realistic.

In my opinion, this is an arena that we would be wise to learn from our children. Having that child-like belief is what you and I honestly need more of.

"But I just want to keep them from disappointment. That is why I keep telling them that only .3% make it, and IF they want to, they better start doing this, that, and that."

Is that a good idea?

Is trying to keep your players or children from disappointment the best thing for them?

I think the more important thing is to:

1. Value the Process of BECOMING over Achieving.

Teach them to dream big and go for big goals, knowing that who they become along the way is always better than what they end up accomplishing.

*Note: 1 of the 5 key habits of the top achievers in the world is that they are "Intrinsically Motivated". Understanding this will help your athlete to identify when they are striving for big goals mainly to make others happy vs. themselves. Every athlete will benefit from learning what this means at some point (maybe around 12-13).

2. Model for them what it looks like to set big goals and fail forward, even if you do not reach you goals.

What are your big goals right now? Whether you are coach, mom, or dad, I think that one of the best things you can do for your children is to have big dreams yourself.

3. Establish plans, best practices, and habits along the way that will allow you to make Constant and Never Ending Improvements (CANI).

When we say things like, "Well if you really want that, then you better start running 2 miles everyday and practicing your shooting 7 days a week," we are actually setting them up for failure.

"MORE usually is not "better". I just had a Mindset Session via zoom the other day who had been told something similar, and all it did was stress her out without actually giving her a structured plan that she could wrap her head around.

This is 1 of the 3 myths I debunk in The Unstoppable Athlete that causes athletes to burnout. It's not even close to being a true game plan to reach their goals!

Your athlete needs a coach who understands psychology and motivation, sports skill development, how to assess an athlete's current abilities, strength and performance development, and how to make continual progress by creating a roadmap. That's why we do
Mindset Coaching.

My personal opinion is that every athlete SHOULD have big dreams and therefore, should have this coach or mentor (because their sports coaches usually don't have time to do this level of coaching).

They need someone who will them how to establish plans, best practices, and the habits that it will take to make continual progress and remain balanced, healthy, and happy along the way.

It's oftentimes a role that gets blurry between being the parent and being the "life coach".

You'll learn more about this by reading my books or by being part of our Inner Circle program which is where I will coach and teach your son or daughter how to be more successful via Zoom once a month. You can learn more about the Inner Circle program here.

Dedicated to your athlete's success in sports and life,

Coach Andrew J Simpson

Andrew Simpson

Chief Vision Officer
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