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How Do You Help Your Child With the Letdown of Being Sent to the Bench?

    No athlete enjoys getting benched. My son was benched in basketball. My daughter was benched in volleyball. My other daughter was benched in softball.   It happens to every athlete sooner or later.     No matter what reason the coach gives–if he even gives one–getting benched is hugely disappointing to most athletes and spirit-crushing to others.     As a parent, how can you best help your child deal with this let-down?   Acknowledge their disappointment.   It’s a big deal to them–don’t diminish that. They are embarrassed, maybe even humiliated. Their competitive spirit has been injured.   Every athlete is different, but we found with our three kids that it was best to not say anything until the sting had worn off. And then, we expressed sorrow for their disappointment, love for them, and pride in their efforts.   Pinpoint the problem.   Once they are…

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When You Feel Like Sending That Angry Email, Think Twice

When the basketball season ended badly for my high school senior son, I loaded up my verbal arsenal and sat down to write a very powerful email to his coach. I worked and re-worked it until finally, it sounded just right–brutally to-the-point with a touch of self-control. But it never got further than my draft folder. That’s happened to me a lot over the years. I’ve written a very loaded email, with every intention of letting the coach know just how I felt about something, and then for one reason or another, I let it sit, and sit, and sit, not quite ready to push send. That was probably the smartest thing I could have done. Let it sit. And now I can tell you why it is a very good idea to let those emails penned out of frustration sit eternally in your draft folder. Reason #1: It could…

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Get Your Tissues Ready, Sports Mamas

There are only a few times in life when you come across something spectacular, something that completely blows you away. Last night was that kind of night for my son, Ryan, his team, the Misfits, and me. Let me introduce Ryan to you.   My son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblast Leukemia at the age of three (he is now 11 and is going on 5 1/2 years of being Cancer Free!) Ryan loves baseball and plays on an 11u Select Travel Baseball Team, the Misfits. This is Ryan’s first year released to play any sport he chooses and well, Ryan loves baseball, so of course, his pick was BASEBALL. So this momma went hunting for something that would fit Ryan. I came across Dugout Sports advertising tryouts for a select team I said: “what the hell let’s try.”  Ryan was chosen to be on the team coached by…

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Do Uncoachable Kids Become Unemployable Adults?

There was a time when I would have wholeheartedly agreed with this… Now, I don’t. It’s not so simple. Recently a picture with this statement popped up in my Facebook timeline.. a bunch of times. My friend (amazing sports mama of four and Olympic gold medalist) Samantha Arensault Livingstone, also saw it and wrote an article addresses what is at stake if we continue this approach to parenting and coaching. In her article, she writes : I don’t think there’s such a thing as an uncoachable kid. I think there are kids who are at times, uncoachable. There’s a big difference. A critical difference. And, honoring this difference doesn’t mean we toss out accountability and ownership. Just the opposite. So what does that really look like? Samantha’s Six Pillars of High-Performance is a great place to start. If we want our kids to become brave, mindful, resilient leaders – in…

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