When your kid hits middle school, it is not easy.It is prime time for comparison, self-doubt, awkwardness, feeling like you don't belong, wondering where you stand and how you measure up. If you don't prepare, you'll struggle more than you ought to.In middle school, just about everything feels like it is outside of your control, but it is not.When people feel like they have no autonomy, no ability to influence their circumstances, there is a downward spiraling effect with their mindset, emotions, and ultimately physically as well. This is particularly true with pre-pubescent kids.If I could go back and do middle school over again, knowing what I know now:1. I would want to know in advance what to expect as well as the feelings and thoughts that I would have. Knowledge can be power. Teaching psychology to a 10/11 year old is actually very smart when it is distributed through consumable means such as stories, analogies, questions, etc.2. I would have gotten out of my comfort zone a bit more willingly so that I could handle the times when I would be forced out of my comfort zone unwillingly. I love seeing at 10 year old come to PFP, it is foundation building and preparation for him or her.3. I would have equipped myself mentally to be strong and resilient. I would have gotten a coach who could speak encouragement into me and help me be more rooted in who I was, my strengths, etc. When you know you have a coach in your corner looking out for you, it gives you a posture of confidence and conviction to stand firm in who you are.4. I would have pre-decided that I would be a leader. I would have taken steps to be a leader even though I didn't know exactly how to do it yet. I would have been an encourager for others, because by doing so I would have made me less self-focused (a big, big problem for most teens).5. I would have worked on my coordination and athleticism knowing that puberty tends to create awkwardness and a decrease in coordination if you do not train it. It stinks, but it is true.Middle school years can be formative, in both constructive and destructive ways.Our mission at PFP is to equip these kids (pre and during middle school) with the tools they need to be mentally resilient as well as physically strong and confident. Ultimately, so that they can be leaders rather than followers.Dedicated to helping our youth thrive,Coach Andrew and the PFP teamP.S. If you are ready to equip your middle school (or 5th grader) with the confidence and tools they need, reply to this email or visit our athlete program website to fill our your consultation request form. We have a strong system in place that helps kids this age feel comfortable and excited about coming in to PFP. P.S.S. If Spring is a crazy busy season for you, we will be launching a special middle school program this summer. More to come on that next month :-) In the meantime, 1 day per week could still be transformational for their confidence and performance. Learn more here.