The Secret to Changing How Young Athletes Behave

As conscientious parents and coaches we often aspire to achieve better results from our efforts. We either want to achieve more with our kids, for our kids, or through our kids. In every case it stands to reason that if we want different results we should strive to change how we behave.

But have you ever noticed that efforts to change personal behavior seldom last very long? We frequently slip back into our old habits.

In reality, there is another necessary step before any of us will make a lasting change in our behavior. We must change the way we think.

Here are some specific examples of how our thinking impacts our behavior, and therefore our results.

Parents

  • When you think of your child as undisciplined you behave differently than when you wonder how you can teach self-control.
  • When you think of your child as disrespectful you behave differently than when you wonder how you can build more trust and respect.
  • When you think of your child as lacking character you behave differently than when you wonder how you can teach more meaningful life lessons.

Coaches

  • When you think of your athletes as unmotivated you behave differently than when you wonder how you can make workouts more interesting.
  • When you think of your athletes as unskilled you behave differently than when you wonder how you can create a positive learning environment.
  • When you think of your athletes as quitters you behave differently than when you wonder how you can teach them to persevere.

According to my friend Mary Lore, author of "Managing Thought: Think Differently. Think Powerfully. Achieve New Levels of Success,” when we wonder we give our brains permission to imagine new potential realities. What would you like to imagine and then create?

Examining how you think as a parent or coach is more important than examining what you do, because everything you do flows from how you think.

Learn to wonder -- and you'll think differently.

Everything Growing Champions For Life does is to help sport organizations create the most positive learning environment for athletes, parents, and coaches. I have shared our strategies with stakeholders in many sports. If you are interested in learning more about our in-person seminars and workshops, webinar series or online learning program, I would love to hear from you.

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