I talk a lot about how we can tell ourselves these positive things and be positive, especially in those really hard moments when we just want to tell ourselves crappy things.
In my program and in weekly Mindset Lessons, I am challenging my girls to practice their positive self-talk. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
Duh, practice makes perfect right?!
Here are some ways that you can help your daughter work on positive self-talk…
My own example:
I am a strong, beautiful, competitive Crossfit athlete.
I am an intellectual, smart, resilient entrepreneur that owns her OWN business...
Is your daughter having a lot of negative thoughts? Especially after mistakes?
You’re not alone. A lot of athletes are going through the same thing. As athletes, we tend to forget or just truly don’t even know how powerful our thoughts are.
She might not know that her negative thoughts are what is giving her negative results.
I know that when I was playing growing up and in college, I thought that if I just kept pushing harder, practicing more, making adjustments, then I would have better results… except when I didn’t.
Most of the time, I was just getting in my own way with my negative thoughts.
Thoughts dictate how we feel, how we take action, and our end results and outcomes.
One way you can help her realize just how important her thoughts are to her success is by letting her hear it from someone other than you.
I know… so annoying. But, you’re mom or dad and you’re supposed to be Positive Polly and believe in her no matter...
Is your daughter thinking about all the things that could go wrong in her next game?
What if I fail?
What if I play terribly?
What if I don’t make the lineup?
What if I look dumb?
These lies she’s believing and making her not feel confident. It’s the worst. And I know you’re just as frustrated seeing her keep doing this to herself.
Rather than telling her to stop thinking like this, let’s shift the focus to what she should and could be thinking about instead!
First of all, remind her that these negative thoughts, doubts, worries, fears… they are NORMAL! She is a normal athlete for feeling and thinking these things. She is a normal girl, a normal human!
Bad news… these negative thoughts, doubts, worries, and fears are going to continue, especially after failures, mistakes, bad games. It’s just our competitive nature!
Good news… she is in control of the thoughts she chooses (it just...
When I was playing softball at Northwestern, I really struggled hitting my first 3 years there. A whopping .133ish average to be exact .
I remember thinking when I went up to bat and runners were on base, or my teammate drew in a walk and it was up to me to get a hit and score some runs for my team…
“$&!%, now I HAVE to get a hit.”
“I better get a hit or I’m going to get pulled out of the lineup.”
“Please don’t throw me inside, just give me something easy to hit.”
“I just want to get this hit so bad…”
Just writing these down I can feel the fear, the scarcity mindset, the doubt, the worry. This is no way to be confident and get the damn hit!
It wasn’t until my senior year when honestly, I was kind of like “screw it, I’m just going to go have fun, do my best, and whatever happens, happens.” This was a total shift in mindset for me that I didn’t even know was...
When I was working on this lesson plan around getting results even when under pressure, the first thing I was thinking about was that having confidence and getting those results when your daughter is feeling the pressure comes way before that exact moment.
Creating confidence and results happens outside of the game, even outside of practices.
Here’s how you can help your daughter work on what she thinks about herself as an athlete (aka self-talk)!
Talk about what thoughts she is having when she’s under pressure
It’s good to just get these out into the open!
Remind her that it’s okay to have these thoughts, worries, fears, and doubts. It’s totally normal.
Ask her how those thoughts she is having when under pressure is making her feel
It’s also good to notice how certain thoughts are making us feel - creates some great awareness
Have her write down or share what she wants to think about herself as an athlete? What does she...
Who’s more nervous? You or your daughter right before a game or when she gets that opportunity to shine?
I know all about that parent pacing, sometimes afraid to watch or look because you want her to succeed so bad. Mostly because if she doesn’t nail it, she might fall apart.
Oy. Sounds stressful!
Here’s the thing about nerves before a game or performance. Nerves aren’t a bad thing. And the more you can help your daughter know that and understand that, the less impact they will have on her performance out on that field or court.
Nerves just mean you care, that you’re excited, that you’ve worked hard to prepare. That’s it!
The best way to perform even when your athlete is feeling nervous is having a PLAN! You might need one too if your pacing, chewing your nails off, and peaking through the cracks of your fingers watching her!
A plan for nerves! Here’s what that plan should include…
If your daughter is constantly focusing on…
what she did wrong
how bad that one play was
Well, good news, she’s a totally normal competitive athlete!
Take a deep breath mom or dad because there is nothing wrong with her and this is totally something we can work on!
Just like the physical work she’s doing at practice, she can work on focusing on the positive too. But, it’s just that, it takes PRACTICE. And your job is to keep her on track, remind her, guide her (kinda like bumpers at the bowling alley).
It starts with AWARENESS and then CHANGE.
Step 1: Awareness - Instead of just telling her she’s being negative, guide her towards something positive she can focus on…
Step 2: CHANGE
Ask her to think about how far she’s come in the past 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years (whatever time frame you need to use)
Ask her what she did really well at practice or her game
There is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself. We tend to think it’s selfish or self-centered or being too “proud” to give ourselves credit.
But, if your daughter never acknowledges what she is proud of about herself, she is probably constantly having thoughts like this…
“I’m never doing enough.”
“I’ll never be where I want to be.”
“I feel like I’ll never reach my goals/dreams.”
It’s important to get her to think about and acknowledge the things she is proud of about herself. Here’s how to do that!
Ask her questions, or even better yet have her journal on these questions (you can join her too!) :
Today, I felt proud of myself when…
5 small successes I had today were…
I feel most proud of myself when…
This is just a small piece of the work we are going to be doing in weekly Mindset Lessons this week! This is a perfect opportunity for her to get out...
Does your daughter trust herself?
In those pressure moments where she has the opportunity to get the hit, make the shot, help her team win…
When all eyes are on her…
To believe she is prepared and ready for game day…
A lot of the girls that I mentor start to lose trust in themselves or doubt themselves because they are so focused on what other people will think if they fail, if they don’t live up to their potential.
One of the #1 struggles that girl athletes are telling me is not wanting to let other people down. Their coaches, teammates, you!
So, here’s how you can help her trust herself!
#1 - Reminding her over and over again that her opinion of herself is the one that matters the most!
When I was playing softball growing up, I had coaches telling me I wouldn’t be able to be a great catcher at the Division 1 level. And then, I was the 4 year starting catcher at Northwestern University… Thank goodness, I...
If you read this title and thought… “my daughter needs this so bad.” I’m actually glad because I know I can help you help her with this.
Athletes are typically their own worst enemy. Their biggest critic. This is something that helps them improve and push themselves past limits, but it can also be detrimental to growth too.
It can be hard to find that balance.
Loving ourselves can be weird, awkward, and uncomfortable. It’s not a natural thing to just love on ourselves. But, your daughter needs to learn how to love on herself just like any other skill she learns out on the field or court so she can believe in herself and feel confident.
So, here’s a message for your daughter (and probably for you too as a parent):
You are already enough. Enough is our birthright. That enough is who we are and who we’ve always been.
What if you really believed that? What if your daughter really believed that?
Well, that’s exactly what we are going...
A Pre-Game Routine for Your Mindset!
Use this tool to create a pre-game routine in order to mentally prepare for games and show up confident.