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Patience for Parents and Coaches

Full Helping of Patience PleaseFor most of my life, I have had only a “half helping” of the virtue called patience. It has cost me so much personally, as a spouse, as a parent, in work, as a coach, and in relationships that I have to share this most helpful concept with you. This one idea has started to change everything.Over the years I have not had much patience with:

  1. Myself and my development
  2. Other’s development
  3. Other’s flaws or shortcomings

Until recently…Things have started to shift. I learned about a powerful 3 letter acronym (unpacked below) that could change everything...Could it be possible that it is actually in the waiting that you and I can experience MORE fulfillment?Here are a couple of enemies of patience:

  1. Comparing yourself to others
  2. Comparing others to yourself, implying they should be more like you (ohhh this one is bad news and I was the king of this one for many years)
  3. Comparing others to others (their kid is like this, so my kid should be further along)

Which leads to 4…     4. Failing to intentionally N.A.B the good, the uniqueness, the strengths, and the progress in othersNumber 4 marks where many of us as leaders, spouses, coaches, and parents fall short. “This kid isn’t fully focused and dialed in at practice. They aren’t picking up on plays as fast as they should!” ^^ This is a sign that this particular coach or parent values a robotic, systematic, high-attention span type focus. It’s not right or wrong, it just fails to focus on this particular young man or woman’s strengths.A coach or parent that fails to develop the ability to N.A.B the best in others will become impatient and potentially rob a kid of massive growth and progress. N.A.B. controls your perspectiveWhat I Notice, Appreciate, and Believe directly impacts my perspective on a person or situation.If you can begin to notice that this young man has made progress with their focus over the past few months, it changes your patience towards him.Or if you begin to notice he is better at focusing when you teach or coach in more practical and hands-on ways, getting him more involved, you can adjust to his style. The opposite of noticing is being stuck in your way of thinking.*If you can discipline yourself to appreciate the fact that while your spouse may not be the best organizer/dish-loader/laundry folder on the block, but that he is making an effort and does do a really great job at leading your family with love and great values, it changes your patience level with him as you cringe over his poor organizational skills. You then have the perspective needed to thank him for his efforts and what he does contribute (which will lead him to want to do BETTER next time!) And lastly, what you deep down believe about yourself, others, and the way lifeshould be” could very well be the most consequential. Do you genuinely, and I mean genuinely believe that while your player may be falling short in an area, that it is really OK? Do you believe consciously that eventually, with enough positive coaching, patience, and appropriate teaching and training from you that she WILL make progress? How do you remind yourself of that in the moments of low patience and frustration?Do you believe deep down that progress of any kind is great and deserves at least a mini-celebration (pat on the back, high five, word of affirmation)?Do you believe that 2 steps forward and 1 step back is healthy and essential to success? Does it show in the moments of one step back?This is hard to admit…Part of my patience problem was that for so many years I stupidly valued growth above love and connection with others. “Life is all about getting better! Growing! Making things happen! If we are not all growing and achieving and making ourselves better, shame on us.” (I am a true Enneagram 1 and 3…)That type of thinking and acting will get you in relationship trouble QUICK! Which always sucks out your personal joy and erodes your quality of life…These are a few of the things that have helped me slide (slightly) in the right direction on the scale from impatience to patience over the years. I am a work in progress, and that is OK!Dedicated to your joy and success,Coach Andrew and the PFP Team

Andrew Simpson

Chief Vision Officer
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