BELIEVE. Do you understand the power of that one word?
There are many words that we as parents say to our kids that empower them, but one of the strongest words I’ve seen that builds my kids up is the word “believe.”
Believe is a word on a sign in the Clemson football meeting room. It’s a logo on a t-shirt given to Dabo Swinney, Clemson’s head coach, by his wife. It’s a mindset instilled in the Clemson football program and is a huge part of why they won the national champsionship this year.*
This past Christmas, my 26-year-old son gave me a necklace called a Giving Key. Have you ever heard of it? It’s simply a key on a chain with a word engraved on it. He’d chosen the word believe for me and the present was accompanied by a handwritten note from him explaining why he’d chosen that word for me.
The significance of that one word Believe is huge for my son and goes back to his days as a high school athlete.
I remember one particular game when he was a senior in high school, playing quarterback. It was a rainy night and the offense was terribly sluggish in a very muddy field. My son’s team lost the game, but worse than that, my son’s confidence was at an all-time season low. He honestly wondered if he would get replaced on Monday when he returned to practice.
But what happened instead? BELIEVE happened! The head coach called my son into his office and instead of replacing him, told him three reasons he wanted TJ to succeed and assured him that he believed in him. I swear my son came out of that meeting a half in taller!
Believe is a powerful motivator for your kids. Here’s a few ways that you can communicate it to your young athletes:
- Always look for the best. Look for the positive, talk about the positive, build up the good stuff you see in your kid. Whether you’re sports parenting, band parenting, drama parenting, or just plain parenting.
- Never look back. I read somewhere that there are two days you should never worry about: yesterday and tomorrow. Because you can’t change either one. Don’t keep reminding your kids of their mistakes. There’s nothing worse than parents (or bosses or spouses or friends!) who keep bringing up yesterday’s errors to you.
- Keep going to the end. Be your child’s staunchest supporter through all the junk. When they look good, and when they don’t. When they persist, and when they quit. When they frustrate you to no end, and when they bring tears of joy to your eyes. And be sure that your child knows that you are their biggest cheerleader, don’t assume they do.
When was the last time you told your child that you believed in him or her? Be intentional about saying it and showing it. If you are looking for a way to motivate and encourage your athlete, I think you’ll find that believe will having amazing results.