I am pleased to announce that my new book is soon to be released: Raising Athletic Royalty: Insights to Inspire for a Lifetime. It is your go to guide to motivating and nurturing the greatness found in your children.
There is no doubt that parental modeling plays the most significant role in the way an athlete is nurtured. Children instinctively imitate their parent’s behaviors, attitudes and moral conduct. This makes supportive and informed (athletic) parental nurturing essential in maximizing a child’s potential at the quickest rate, regardless of the chosen passion/endeavor.
The code of excellence we all wish to imprint on our children cannot be taught in only a few hours a week by a gifted coach. These life lessons need to be nurtured day in and day out by their parents.
LESSON: The Laundry List
“Great game men,” said Coach Stevens. “You guys are improving every week. We are one heck of a football team! Every one of you gave it your all out there and I’m so proud! Keep up the good work! I’ll see you Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at Riley Park for practice… READY BREAK!”
Every kid was smiling and laughing walking off the game day field, except for Randy.
Randy knew what was to come. He was a quiet ball of knots as he slowly headed toward his father’s car adding a limp to his gait to support a fake injury while holding his iphone in hand ready to text his friend about homework the moment he got into the car. These were just a few of the aversion tactics Randy regularly employed to lessen the barrage of criticism that was sure to come from his father. If he pretended to be injured and was addressing the importance of homework he needed to complete, then his father may go easy on him.
You see Randy’s dad believed that he was actually helping Randy by watching every game and compiling a detailed laundry list of Randy’s failed plays, mistakes and improvement issues. Randy’s dad didn’t even realize that he was destroying his son’s confidence and self-esteem by pointing out his every flaw. No matter how good Randy was, it was not good enough. No matter how long Randy trained, it was not long enough. No matter how many things Randy fixed, his dad would find more flaws.
Mr. Wilson did not have a clue that the only thing he was cultivating was excuses, no effort and zero enjoyment for the sport, not to mention a seriously unhealthy family environment. After all, why in the world would Randy want to play if it only led to a new laundry list of why he’s so slow, uncoordinated and stupid?
Parents, remember that the only comments you should make directly after competition are motivational and positive comments like: “I wish I had the guts to go out there and perform like that.”, “I think it’s so cool watching you out there.”, “You’re getting better and better everything day.”, “Did you have fun out there today?” or “You’re playing great; let me know if I can help you with anything!” Motivating the growth you seek comes from optimism and not from pessimism. Continually reminding your children of their failures is futile. Instead, after each game or practice session, support your child’s efforts with love and praise.
If you or your spouse possess this dreaded parental laundry list of failure disease, begin to replace the list of negative remarks with positive ones.
If you deeply feel that your laundry list is insightful and important to the growth of your child, I suggest asking the coach if you can email the list to him after the game. Then ask him if he can pay special attention to those issues. Chances are that your child will accept the valid feedback if it is presented by the coach instead of the parent. A good coach should have a better way of presenting the issues in an optimistic and positive light.
Thanks for visiting, Frank
Contact Frank: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: www.MaximizingTennisPotential.com
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