Negative Thoughts are hard to ignore. They affect all areas of our lives, and when it comes to youth sports, it seems parents are especially susceptible to it.
Author Steven Covey says that “We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”
These 12 negative thoughts could be holding you and your child back in youth sports.
Negative Thoughts: a Dozen No-Nos
1. What happened in the past determines the future. Being defeated is a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.
2. I make too many mistakes. Failed attempts are part of the growth process.
3. I care too much what people are thinking about me. Ignore rude people who talk about you or your child behind your back. True strength is being able to walk away from that garbage.
4. I can’t. No coach wants to hear this and no child should believe it. Believing that will defeat your child before he even starts.
5. There’s so much that could go wrong. Stop what-iffing and being afraid of what could go wrong and start thinking of what could go right.
6. I’m never going to get any better. Appreciate every great moment, celebrate every victory, big or small. Focus on the good things that have happened, instead of what you wish would have happened.
7. Dreaming is for dreamers. The real tragedy in life is having no dream to reach. You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take one day at a time. Let your child dream. Life has a way of re-shaping those dreams without you crushing them.
8. If only…
If only you hadn’t missed that layup!
Too bad you missed that last goal attempt.
Man! If you just could have gotten a hit, the winning run would have come in!
Parents, give your kid some credit. No need to point out the obvious to her. She feels bad enough as it is. She knows she messed up. She knows if she could have made the winning difference.
9. Playing time is what it’s all about. This may not seem like a negative thought, but it actually is because it drives your child to base everything–especially his self-esteem–on how much playing time he gets.
10. I suck. You may or may not ever hear your child say this, but there’s a good chance you will sense it in his demeanor if he is feeling it. There’s really not a whole lot a parent can say to help a child out of these doldrums, but you can listen, encourage them to keep doing their best and tell them that no matter what, you are proud of them.
If your child is going to turn around his negative thinking, he needs a good role model who is doing the same. Are you giving that to him?