We recently surveyed some of our student-athletes and the overwhelming majority said they struggle with this faulty thinking and that it is negatively affecting their performance and mental health.
What is this negative mindset habit rooted in?
We often say things to these young people like, “You shouldn’t do that to yourself! You are a great player! Mistakes aren’t bad! Get em’ next time!”
To no avail.
Because a person’s habit of beating him or herself up after doing something wrong is deeper rooted than what a shallow “quick fix-positive self-talk tactic” has to offer. ALL of our habits do something for us in the short-term, even if it is destructive long-term.
I am telling you that if we don’t go deeper on these types of things, your kids will keep these habits that they are forming forever. They will grow up to be chronically dissatisfied and anxious in sports, work, and life unless something breaks these habitually patterns.
I am going to give you one solution now and then an encouragement:
We say to him, “Johnny, tell me which of these two is true:
- Every time you mess up, make a mistake, or fall short, does it make you afraid that you aren’t enough? That you are a failure? Is it fear?
- Every time you mess up, make a mistake, or fall short, does it make you angry that you aren’t getting praise? That you aren’t in the spotlight? That you aren’t being viewed as the hero?”
For most kids, it is number 1. Fear is the root issue. And once they see how silly and outlandish it is to be afraid of such a thing, they start to change. But the key is, they must see it and believe it.
For a few, it is number 2. Greed and selfish ambition. For one reason or another, these kids just crave attention, status, prestige. It causes them to go into protection mode when they feel that their status as captain, top-dog, or “beast on the field” is being threatened.
Whichever one it is for your son or daughter is not the point. The point is, we need to get them to see the truth and then empower them to make different decisions about what they will believe, focus on, and do with their mistakes moving forward.
These are the 3 simple steps we will be using in the 4 week athlete mindset workshop series for students who are ready to break free from fear and doubt, and step into the confident young man or woman they were created to be.
One day at a time, one student at a time, we will create generational transformation.
Dedicated to your child’s joy, passion, and massive success,
Coach Andrew and the PFP Team