Playing many sports was something I have always enjoyed! Well let's be clear, competing was something I have always loved to do whether it was basketball at recess or racing up and down the street in the neighborhood. After having kids and seeing their personalities and passions, I knew at that moment I was raising athletes. I have 3 kids with 3 completely different personalities. There is the mental preparation, there is food prepping, and there is this 10 letter word that you can't really teach, but you have to help foster called CONFIDENCE!!! This word confidence is so important because they have to find it within themselves. I can give them the right food, set up the best training sessions, and give them mental tools to guide them, but ultimately believing in themselves and not wavering in that space during competition begins in the heart. Here are 5 things you can do to plant those seeds and cultivate confidence within your son or daughter.
Speak into their life and tell them who they are. Come up with a mantra or something they have to repeat to you until it is engrained in their brain. Kids may not quite understand who they are yet, so it is important for us as parents or guardians to remind them of their worth and all that they can become through hard work and leadership.
Sit down with your child and help them make a list of what they want to accomplish within the school year. Discuss how he/she will go about accomplishing these goals and write those ideas down as well. Speaking it into existence and writing it down makes it real and puts it into the universe which is truly powerful.
Have them discuss and write down what they love about themselves. If this is awkward, ask them if they were their own coach or teacher, what would be the positives they would say about themselves. Sometimes it's easier for kids to think in 3rd person to begin. Expand on the list by telling them what you love about them as well that is different from their list.
Ask the tough questions. What do you wish you could improve on? Is there anything you dislike about yourself? Pay attention to those answers and foster positive affirmations to help him or her begin to turn those negatives into positives.
Continue to be positive!! It is okay to show your child tough love or give them advice in different areas so that they can improve, however, pay attention to your tone and how you speak to them. Also, for every negative there should be at least 2 positives. Finally, always end conversations on a high note. It's never good to walk away making your child feel as if they are a bad person. This condemns them and lowers their self esteem even more. Our goal here is to teach them and build them up with confidence to conquer the world! They will always have coaches, but you are the last person they see before they close their eyes and the first person they see when they wake up. The power of parenting is a gift. Use it wisely!