This past weekend a dad that I admire sent me the following:
“Hey Coach sorry to bother you but we are at a tournament and I’m trying to figure out how to best support Sam. His team just got blown out, he got injured (going to keep playing), and he’s been down: swearing, getting physical with the other team, moping around, etc. He has two more games this weekend but keeps saying his team ‘doesn’t have a chance’. I’m trying to stay positive while also trying to “say nothing” but he is not receptive. Any ideas? Should I just let him process it on his own?”
First off, what a rockstar dad. His son is going to grow up and be a leader, no doubt.
My question to dad→ “Every struggle is a golden, teachable opportunity for Sam. The higher charged emotion the situation is, the more defining moment it is for Sam. Thinking long-term, what would a great parent do in this situation?”
- Perhaps you just let him know “Hey bud, I’m here if you want to talk. I’m proud of you either way.”
- Perhaps you and him already have talked about what these times are called, I.E. “When the engine gets too hot” and what the expectations are for one another.
- Perhaps you pull him to the side, get down on one knee, give him a hug (assuming he’s of the age where that is not outrageously embarrassing yet), and “say nothing”
Whatever the response, we would be wise to pre-plan it as sports parents.
For Sam, now that the weekend is over, he would be wise to walk through the following 5 Step Improvement Cycle:
Test -> Fail -> Learn -> Improve -> Re-Enter -> Test-> Fail-> Learn-> Improve-> Re-Enter...and so on
As far as his emotional response goes, this past weekend may be considered a “Fail”.
But it only stays a “Fail” if he does not intentionally take some time to “Learn” from it.
It also remains a “Fail” if he does not then go back and figure out a new belief, technique, or tactic to “Improve” during the next time he experiences those same circumstances and emotions.
And lastly, it does still stay a “Fail” if he doesn’t go out there and apply what he learned by “Re-Entering.”
If our kids work harder on their swing than they do on their emotional response, we are doing them a disservice in sport and in life.
When you register today you will get your Access Pass, over $300 in bonuses for your athlete, and confidence knowing your child is going to be taking 90 solid minutes to train the mental game, to get emotionally fit, so that they can reach their full potential and become leaders.
It is not what we do occasionally, but rather what we do consistently that defines us!
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Dedicated to your child’s success on and off the field,