Your child’s success will not depend merely on their skills.
Throughout 22 years of being a sports mom, I’ve seen my kids succeed and fail many times based on what was going on in their heads. All the skill in the world cannot stand up to the power of a mindset, and the voices that reverberate in your child’s mind will most likely be the deciding factor in your child’s ability to play to their potential.
What are the voices that will stand in the way of your child’s success?
The Voice that says “I’m not going to make it.”
You’ve probably seen your child get into this funk.
I’m not going to make it. I’ll never make the team. I’ll never win this starting spot. I’m never going to be good enough. I gotta quit believing that “my giant is dead” and give up. I’m done.
I have seen my kids listen to these voices and it was only through our support and love and constant belief in them that they learned to tune those nasty thoughts out.
The Voice that says “There’s something better somewhere else.”
When things get tough, it’s easy to assume that the grass is greener somewhere else.
Going to play on another team will solve all my problems. Having a different coach will motivate me to play better.
I love this quote by an unknown person:
“If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.”
The problem with always looking for the better scenario to play in is that focusing on things your child doesn’t have causes them to forget what’s most important—and that’s what’s happening right now.
This does not mean that your child cannot switch teams or schools for an opportunity that is more suitable for them, it means that your child should not be running from green pasture to green pasture looking for the perfect setup where they will be handed success.
The Voice that says, “Everyone is out to get me.”
Has your child ever come home and said that “No one on the team likes me”?
Everyone is against me. They are all talking about me behind my bad. They are trying to take my spot.
This kind of paranoia will promote a defensive posture in your child, and often it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as they mistrust and attack friends and teammates around them.
Talk to your child about what’s really going on. Ask questions that will draw the real issues out and help them get a clearer picture of what’s going on. Most of the time the problem is the voice in your child’s head and if you see that it goes beyond that, you, your child, and the coach can have a talk.