I’ve been talking with Sporting Parents all over the world for 25 years.
South Africa, England, Scotland, many cities around the USA, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Fiji, The Philippines, Canada, Spain, all over Australia….there aren’t too many places I haven’t presented Sporting Parents clinics, lectures and workshops.
And in all that time and in all those places, I’ve learnt three very important lessons – three things that will help ever parent be an outstanding, loving, supportive Sporting Parent and help them to help their child realize their potential as human beings – and as athletes.
1. Love your kids unconditionally.
Seems like an obvious one but it never ceases to amaze me how many parents have never actually told their kids that they love them….that is, they love them for WHO they are and NOT for what they do.
I hear many stories of parents telling their kids they love them – IF the child has just scored the winning goal or IF they’ve just broken the State high jump record or IF they’ve won the Gold medal for the 50 metres freestyle event at school.
That’s not unconditional love – and only valuing winning and success sends some pretty terrible messages to your kids.
Perhaps worse of all – if the child feels they’re only loved when they succeed, they’ll do all they can to receive that love – and they start to believe that unless they’re successful – they will not be loved.
Spend a little time researching “teenagers and mental illness”, and “teenagers and perfectionism” and other similar conditions on the Internet and you’ll find that often at the heart of so many of these terrible issues is one simple truth: it comes down to the child’s ability to love, value and accept themselves for who they are.
And guess where they learnt that?
Look in the mirror!
PLEASE – do me a favor – before the end of today – tell your child – in person – by phone – by email – by text – doesn’t really matter how – just do it – that you love them for no reason other than they are your child.
Not for what they do – but for who they are.
2. “Build” them as human beings.
Help to develop values, virtues and character.
Provide opportunities for them to learn to take (safe) risks and teach them how to deal with failure and disappointment. Create situations where they learn independence and to take responsibility for their actions and in-actions.
Encourage them to accept accountability for the things they say and do – and that they don’t say and do.
Focus on helping them to become remarkable human beings – then – if they happen to be able to kick a football or throw a pitch or swim a lap or hit a ball – that’s a bonus.
Put the development of the person – ahead of the development of the player.
3. Teach them that there is no difference between winning and losing.
If your child’s team wins by 10 goals and they score 5 of them – love them with every fiber of your being.
If your child’s team loses by 10 goals and they play terribly – love them with every fiber of your being.
They must know with absolute certainty that win or lose – there’s no difference in the way you feel about them.
This concept – i.e. there’s no difference between winning and losing as it relates to the way you feel about your kids – underpins so much of their “Self-belief” – and helps to build resilience, confidence and a deep personal sense of courage to take on any situation as they get older.
Check out my new book “Leading without Leading” now available as a paperback and an e-book on Amazon.
The book focuses on helping people to learn to Lead by simply being themselves.
Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980980756/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CND96LN/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb
Amazon Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07CND96LN/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb
Wayne Goldsmith Coaching
Waynes coaching, thinking and teaching have influenced some of the world’s leading athletes, coaches and teams . He is an inspirational speaker and presenter who is able to educate, entertain , challenge and engage audiences of all ages
With over 25 years experience working with some of the best coaches, athletes, teams and sporting organisations in the world, WG Coaching offers an unparalleled opportunity for you to become the coach you dream of becoming.
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