"Blunt honesty. Consistency. NO ego."
The question was, "What qualities do you aspire to exude every day as a teammate in the NBA?"
This week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast, Susie and I interviewed, NBA Champion, Channing Frye. The 6'11" former All-American who played at the University of Arizona before making it in the NBA for the last 12 years. He has played for several teams including the Orlando Magic, the Portland Trailblazers, the Cleveland Cavaliers and most recently the Los Angeles Lakers. He took some time with us to talk about his mindset, how he approaches basketball, hard work, resilience and being a father of four small children.
Frye was a "late bloomer" in basketball by today's standards. I.e, he didn't start really playing hoops until the 9th grade when the band director told the then 6'8" trumpet player, "Channing, you need to go to P.E., not band this period."
Frye remembers that moment, "I cried. I loved playing the trumpet."
But he also realized that with his size and his coordination, he could be an impact player if he decided to work at it.
The unofficial word "in the NBA locker room" is that Frye is a great teammate. He's a guy you want to have on the team, because whether he's on the floor or on the bench he's giving 120% at all times.
A couple years ago, he had a set back as he was diagnosed with a heart condition and had to take a year off from playing. It was in that moment he realized he could either feel sorry for himself, or he could get to work, preparing mentally for his return.
How often do we get faced with set-backs? Your child gets cut from the top team? Or didn't play as much as she would have liked to? Or is told by the college coaches, "We're not sure you're college level material."
These are the golden moments, where, like Frye, YOU get to decide,
"Am I going to take this feedback as gospel and not work as hard on my body, on my game, or on my mindset? Or am I going to work EVERY day to prove them wrong?"
Back when I was playing college volleyball and was looking to transfer from San Diego State University, I took a visit to the University of Virginia (UVa). The volleyball coach was underwhelmed by me. She barely took ten minutes to meet with me when I showed up on campus. As she was brushing me off and telling me she had to run, I remember politely smiling and saying, "Thank you for your time."
And as I drove away, I promised myself when I attended the "little school down south" (aka The College of William & Mary), whenever we played UVa, we would never lose.
And we didn't. Not on my watch.
"When they give you coal..... Make fire." - Channing Frye
Frye had some wonderful insights into what to do with that coal and how to have the mindset of a champion. We decide we are champions and then we do the work to get there.
Frye's Top 6 Mindset of a Champion Tips
1) Be a good teammate. You need to be in the gym like you are the worst player out there.
2) Be early (for everything). If coach tells you to be there at 8am, get there at 7:30am and get 100 shots up.
3) Do extra. If coach tells you you need to work on your rebounding, ask him for feedback and find a way to get more reps in practice, every day.
4) Don't be entitled. You are not so special. Be humble. Let your game speak for itself. Your hard work will win you playing time.
5) Be available to your teammates to take criticism and be coached. Don't let your ego get in your way of getting better. Guys often feel like they need to act like they are already good at every thing. You're not. Take the feedback and make improvements to your game.
6) Decompress. Get off the social media! Stop reading and listening to what everyone else thinks about you or who's the best right now. None of that matters. Give your brain time to chill.
The BEST athletes I know do this.....
Frye had a very specific answer to this question.
It's what Lebron does every day and it's won him championships. Listen to the end of the podcast for this morsel.
It's what all peak performers do... and it's gold.
This Week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast:
Channing Frye: The Mindset of an NBA Champion
This week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast, we LOVED speaking with Channing about all things peak performance, including how he is raising his four kids.
"Are you going to insist your kids are athletes?"... listen in, to hear his hilarious response to this question.
For those parents out there who are #RaisingAthletes and are enjoying our podcast, we'd be so stoked if you would take a moment to go onto ITunes, give us some feedback and share the podcast with other parents out there who aspire to raise not only strong athletes but extraordinary people.
Truth be told, I probably hugged him a few seconds too long. I squeezed harder than I needed to. I almost didn't let go. Truth be told, I've known this day was coming for 18 years, and despite all that, I had a few moments this week where I had to catch my breath and fight back a lump in my throat.
And do you want to know the most ridiculous part? My son got on a plane this morning for a ten day trip. YEP, that's it. Ten whopping days. It isn't that he's graduated from high school and is moving on. In fact, he's heading into his senior year this Fall. So, why all the unnecessary emotion, you may ask? That is an excellent question, which I have been pondering quite a bit myself this week.
He took off to the East Coast for a few days with his best friend to go chase down his dream. That same dream he's been visualizing since age six when he first laid his hands on a basketball and his dad took the time to teach him how to shoot it properly.
"Fingertips. Wrinkle wrist. Cookie jar," his dad would say.
"Keep the ball on the tips of your fingers, then flex your wrist back so you can see your wrist wrinkle and then, when you're ready, release the ball so that when you finish your shot, it looks like you are reaching up into a cookie jar."
The answer to my admittedly trivial, inner struggle about my emotions which really aren't relevant for about another 12 months, came to light with some coaching I did with the mother of one of my teen athlete clients this week. Often times, it's much easier to have clarity around how to handle an issue when we see someone else's struggle, than it is to shine a light onto our own darkness.
Here's what she shared.
Let's call her Jill. Jill is exasperated with her 17-year old son's perceived lack of ambition and drive in the sport he claims he has a passion for, lacrosse. She and her husband strive to be supportive of his dreams and goals, which he tells them is to play Division I Lacrosse, but what she doesn't see is him taking consistent action in alignment with that stated goal. I.e., in the weeks following the end of the season, she saw a malaise set in. He wasn't working out, he wasn't training. He just kind of shut down.
With college admissions less than a year away and knowing the window for recruiting is closing, she reached out to me and asked for help. While he is ranked as one of the top players in the state, he's not getting "the looks", much less the offers he says he desires. The schools are coming to watch him and they say he has "all the tools", but nothing's happening.
So what's going on? Here are the questions I'm pondering...
Did his dream shift over time? If it was his dream at six years old, does he still have to hold onto that dream at 17?
What happens when fear of "not enough-ness" sets in as he sees those who were late bloomers really start to come into their own?
What about when the coach starts to lose faith in him because he has a bad game? Which leads to another poor performance, which leads to lagging confidence and a continuing downward spiral in both his mental and physical game.
What if he can't bring himself to tell his parents that this isn't his dream any more? What if his greatest fear is disappointing them by not getting an offer?
He feels stuck and a bit overwhelmed and at a loss for what to do.
His parents feel helpless (and frustrated) and while they truly want to help their son, they are also realizing the "hand off" is coming. That day when it's up to him, he needs to take the baton and run. The realization is that he needs to be driving the decisions he makes around his sport and how he decides to "show up" or not. If he is willing to do the work or not. And how he will pivot and grow from these decisions.
Susie and I discussed this exact topic on this week's #RaisingAthletes podcast. Out of no ill will of course, we parents often get over-involved in our kids lives, which can, over time, erode their confidence and belief in their own abilities. It's very tough to be able to balance the "just letting go" and allow them to figure things out on their own with helping them navigate the athletic, academic and social waters while they are still teenagers, working on closing their frontal lobes and living at home with you.
So as I pulled away from LAX this morning, it occurred to me, that this is part of the process of preparing both CJ and me for "the hand-off."
We're not there yet, but it's racing towards us.
As I write this, I just received a text with a very rare selfie included(!)
All is well.
The eagle has landed.
It's time to play ball! I'm slowly letting go.
If you are raising an athlete, I'm guessing at one time or another, your child has struggled with confidence or a clear understanding of their ability or perhaps a shift in their goals.
In our three kids, we've watched soccer and swimming and gymnastics and come and go from their lives. Sometimes we get to finish a sport on our own terms and other times, it's taken away from us. My goal is to support parents in helping their kids discover that there are huge gems of growth and evolution buried in weeds of exploration.
This Week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast:
Tips for Raising An Intrinsically Driven Athlete
This week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast, Kirsten & Susie break down the inner game of the intrinsically motivated athlete. How do we support our athletes to be internally motivated kids? We discuss some practical tips to help you do this every day with your athlete (both on and off the field).
For those parents out there who are #RaisingAthletes and are enjoying our podcast, we'd be so flattered if you would go onto ITunes, give us some feedback and please feel free to share the love.
Imagine a world where every kid (and parent) meditated for 20 minutes before they took the field. What would change?
Creating Peak Performance in Biz & Life
I was thrilled to have been a guest on fellow entrepreneur, Kathy Haan's podcast, Turning Coaches into Millionaires. We had fun exploring what peak performance means and how to get some in your biz & life! Check us out...
Honestly, I'm SO looking forward to summer... And I'm SO dreading summer!
I can tell my kids are "done" with school. For the last few weeks, they have listlessly been dragging themselves out of bed slogging through the final few days before the glorious end next week.
Yesterday, I drove the five kid carpool. As they unloaded from the car and the Principal greeted them with a chipper, "Hey, guys, only 5 days left!" I'm sure I heard a collective, "Ugh," as they exited the vehicle.
I'm excited for them to have down time, away from school and homework and sports and plays and all the other activities that keep them growing and learning. We all need time to "go offline" and recharge, which is why when my 12 year old daughter, Kylie, asked to go to "device free" sleep away camp for a month this summer, we said, "Yes." I can tell she craves the time that we had as kids, just exploring, making friends, eating meals unplugged, learning camp songs, creating skits and, wait for it, maybe even letting a little boredom be the mother of invention. They have down time at camp which is just that, down time, nothing planned, no activity to be shuttled to, just get out a book and read or write in a journal or go for a walk with a friend.
My middle son, Parker, age 14, will be starting high school in the Fall. He is so ready for the change, which is great to see. He's agreed that doing a bit of summer school (which I'm thrilled to overhear him refer to it as "camp") to get the mandatory reading out of the way.
I used to think I'd never make my kid "do summer school," but here's my dilemma and why I've pivoted from that. We all need downtime, but I know what would happen if left him to his own devices (literally, he would be on all the devices!) in the hours he's not attending summer school.... he'd sleep, eat, and play hours and hours of Fortnite. Yes, he will be playing some hoops this summer, but that is only for a few hours a week and while I sent him to sleep away camp last summer and he enjoyed it, there is only so much do-re-me to go around between camps and club tournaments and summer school, etc, so it forced us get creative!
So here's my plan for the summer with Parker (fingers crossed) and some advice I shared a few weeks back to some middle schoolers when I spoke to them about how to create a life of their dreams.
This summer pick ONE thing that you're curious about.... just ONE. (aside from Fortnite)
Hint to parents: What did you catch him doing in the backyard as an 8 year old?
- Was he doing the "play by play" of his imaginary football game like last week's guest on our #RaisingAthletes Podcast, Episode #10: Chris McGee?
- Was he drawing shoes for his favorite athletes, like our guest from Episode #7: D'Wayne Edwards?
- Was he playing with legos? Or singing in the shower? Or helping the poor little bird who flew into the kitchen window?
What is he curious about? What could he sit and do for hours (if Fortnite wasn't an option)? These are hints as to what he really truly cares about. It's our job as parents to help them find a way to "dabble" in it.
In addition to Parker taking the mandatory reading class, I signed him up for a Music Production class and this is why.
Last year, on his own, he started a YouTube channel and was having so much fun creating, starring in, editing and producing his little show. One episode which involved him pouring an ice cold gallon of milk over his head has 13,000 views! FABULOUS!
And some point, though, he got his feelings hurt by all of the haters saying mean things and stopped doing it. (My secret wish is that this class will inspire him to create something again).
As for me, a few months ago, I applied for and was accepted into a "Podcast Fellowship with Seth Godin"! Who knew? It was designed for college students as something they can create within the course of the summer, instead of a lowly internship where they just shuffle papers. I proudly typed in my COLLEGE GRADUATION YEAR: 1993
And, bam! They accepted me. LOL. We've got the podcast up and running, but still have got SO much to learn. So might as well learn from the best! Bring it on, Seth (along with his Producer, Andrea)!
So, what are you and your kids getting curious about this summer? I'd love to hear all about it!
This Week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast: Audrey Monke, 30+ Summer Camp Director
This week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast, Audrey Monke, who is a 30+ year camp owner and director, parent of five and author & speaker at Sunshine-Parenting.com, and I spoke about the benefits of sending your athlete to a non-sports sleep away camp. There is nothing wrong with the sports specific ones as well, but also so good for our kids to have time to unwind, unplug and just be kids! It flies by so fast, let's let them enjoy the ride.
For those parents who are #RaisingAthletes and are trying to figure out how to tackle their summer so their kids will have a little bit of growth with a lot of relaxation and some simple ideas on ways to connect with them, check out this week's chat!
Speaker, Writer, Podcast Host, Summer Camp Director for 30+ years and Mother of 5
IG & Twitter: @Sunshine.Parenting
Praise for #RaisingAthletes Podcast!
Check it out and share the love with other sports parents.
Thanks for taking the time to listen and review us, Kristin!
Do you have a burning sports parenting question, frustration or even a suggestion for who we should have on as a guest? We LOVE feedback!
Reply to this email. Kirsten is standing by....
Much Love & Wicked Parenting Success.
We got this!
This week I received an email from a concerned parent, seeking a little counsel....
My second son has been on the top team (of four) on our neighborhood's travel soccer team. We just got word last night following three days of tryouts that he has been offered a spot on the second team for next year. Am trying to play it cool and be the moderated parent, but am having to check all kinds of emotions (from "why the hell do we do this at age 10" to "really, he starts for the top team for 2 years and now he's on the second team" to "who the F cares?" to "my kid's the best and I might pummel you").
I feel your pain. It sucks. It hurts. I've been there. And, it's hard to know how to set your emotional reaction aside and do what's best for your kid.
But here's the deal. Because of the ever-growing focus to start playing travel and club sports at younger and younger ages, and because (you pick your motivation) "we don't want our kid to be left out", "fall behind", "not make his middle school team" this has become an ever increasing issue. What ever happened to rec sports until high school?
Instead of just being able to focus on the three things which truly matter in the 4-12 age range, I like to call them, in order of importance, "The Three F's": Fun, Friends and Fundamentals, we, and our kids, are quickly pivoted to issues which truly don't matter in the long run, such as:
- Which level team my 10 year old should play on?
- If he plays on a lower level team, what will that do for his chances of playing at a higher level down the road?
- What will it do to his self-confidence (and my own!)?
- What about his friends? They are all on that top team, this won't be any fun without them.
So what are we parents to do? Please consider the following:
Let your kid drive the process. If he is up at 6am, bag packed, itching to get to the soccer field and dying to try out the new move he learned in the backyard last night with his friends, this is a sign of an internally motivated kid, and one who, even if he doesn't make the top team this season, will have the opportunity down the line, if he takes this moment to:
#1. Be curious. And ask good questions (of himself first- with your help):
- I wonder why I didn't make the top team this year?
- What skills/gaps in my ability are there which I need to improve upon which will make me a candidate for the top team again in the future?
- What feedback should I ask for so I can improve my chances going forward?
And if he doesn't know the answer, that's ok! It's a great place to start, which leads to the second step.
#2. Have your kid set up a meeting with the the coach for a 1:1. This will show that a) he's open for feedback and b) that he truly wants to get better. This is to be driven by your child, not you. If he is nervous about speaking directly with the coach, you can offer to be there, but tell him "I'm going to let you do all the talking, let's practice what you'd like to ask."
#3. Your role as the parent? To support him. Ask him how he feels about the news that he didn't make it. DO NOT insert your opinions here. Just swallow your hurt and sadness for a moment, take a deep breath and ask him what he thinks of his position on his new team. You may be surprised to hear that while he's a bit disappointed, he is actually relieved (less pressure) or excited (a different friend he gets to be with). Don't assume it's all bad news.
This same parent handled it beautifully....
"When I told him the news I just sat with him while he cried. And when he came home from school I asked about a lot of other things, and then I asked him about how he was feeling. I intentionally wanted to leave space for him to speak and not be led by my reactions, my reflections, and how I wanted him to process this issue.
As I listened to how he was processing this issue, I tried to create space for him to give me feedback. I realize now that if I had spoken more than I had listened, if I had directed the conversation so he processed it how I want him to process it, I would have missed an opportunity to understand my kid better.
I would have missed an opportunity to both see how well he does deal with challenges and to identify how I can help him in those areas where he is still lacking. I would have missed the opportunity to applaud the best of his resilience and instincts, and help him in those areas where he still needs help.
It doesn’t remove my desire to micromanage everything and to control the world around him, but it allows me to look at my job as understanding and knowing him first, and deciding how to help him a distant second."
So well said. It doesn't mean we're always going to like the outcome, but there is no better time than the present to allow your kid to learn how to deal with set-backs and disappointment. You are actually giving him the gift of filling his own bucket. And once he realizes he has 100% control over how much or little he fills his own bucket, it's priceless tool he will use for the rest of his life!
Thanks so much for reading along. If you are raising an athlete, I'm guessing at one time or another, your kid hasn't make the top team or didn't get the playing time you felt he deserved.
I know we've been there with all three of our kids and it's hard to watch and go through, but it's also challenged us to "up our game" and has made our kids more resilient and independent people and hopefully, it's made us better parents.
Sneak Peak: Coming Next Week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast
This week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast, we were lucky enough to catch Emmy-Award Winning Spectrum Sports Anchor, to chat about everything from his athletic past through college to how he (re)discovered his passion for calling games play-by-play and how it eventually landed him in his dream job with the Los Angeles Lakers.
For those parents out there who are #RaisingAthletes who are struggling (or just searching) to find their passion, listen to "Geet" give us some great advice on how to create your dream job over time.
Studio Anchor & Host for the Los Angeles Lakers Pre/Post Game Shows
IG & Twitter: @Geeter3
Praise for #RaisingAthletes Podcast
Check it out and share the love with other sports parents!
Some day I'll get enough confidence to chase my real dream.
Some day when:
- I'm 10lbs lighter & have been working out more consistently
- I'm not new here any more, so I'll know people and will have connections.
- I've taken that special class that's given me all the expertise I need to really go after what I want.
This past week I attended the 10th annual Mom2.0 Summit in Pasedena. I knew ZERO people attending this event. Ok, not true, I knew one person, but she was a presenter, so not someone I could spend any time with. I can remember a time when I would have been scared to death to do something like attend a 500+ person conference alone. This time it was fun, because I turned it into a game.
I challenged myself to put down my phone and as I moved from speaker to speaker attempt to make eye contact, smile and say, "Hello." That's it. How hard can it be, right? Well, of course, it isn't necessarily hard, but you do confront your insecurity of being perceived as the "unpopular one" who has no friends. (Not that anyone else is even paying attention to you, this is all going on in your head).
Of course, this is a fairly safe environment to try this as there are many other women who are in the same boat, who have come alone and are here to do exactly the same thing, network. It was a fairly low bar to entry... So I upped my game.
I challenged myself to make an introduction to the presenters of at least two of the topics which held the most interest to me... Podcasting & Book Writing. And this is where it really came together, because I am not at ground ZERO with either of these. I have a podcast up and running since February and I've been ruminating (with various states of ugly first drafts) on a book. Neither are beautiful. Neither are award worthy. YET.
But this is just the point. How many things do you think, "One day when I HAVE (the confidence) I'll DO (the book/podcast... insert your goal here) and I'll BE proud and happy of what I've accomplished (or wealthy or skinny or.... insert your goal here).
But here is the rub. We need to flip this script.
BE... the type of person who writes New York Times Best-Selling Books or award winning podcasts (insert goal here)
DO... ONE thing TODAY in support of this goal
HAVE... the goal comes from within us, it isn't something OUT there that we are trying to achieve. We already have it, we just need to realize this, change our thoughts and act as if it's here.
So I did this... and I (uncomfortably) marched up to each of the presenters, introduced myself, told them what my vision is, and you know what? Each of them loved it!
Please call me, the podcaster said, "WOW! I love your podcast idea, it's very unique and very needed! Let's connect."
The literary agent, via an introduction from the NYT Best-Selling author, Jess Lahey (YOU ROCK, Jess!) (she was the one person I knew), smiled at me and said, "Amazing. I'd love to chat with you about your dream."
Life sometimes requires us to "fake it til we make it". I firmly believe we are better when we are creating.... what are you creating today?
I'll leave you with a challenge: What is ONE thing you can do TODAY in support of your dream? ONE thing. Be IT. Feel IT. Smell IT. Embrace IT. It is within you-- and it's dying to get out!
What I'm listening to right now:
This is a fascinating read about how the MOST elite people (Navy Seals, Silicon Valley, etc) teach themselves and others how to get into "flow states" whenever they want.
What if you could live your life in a state of creating your magic? You can. I can teach you how to...
Sneak Peak: Coming Next Week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast
Coming up on the next episode of #RaisingAthletes, we are SO excited to share our interview with 5, that's FIVE-time Olympian, Danielle Scott-Arruda. Not only did she play at the pinnacle of her sport for 20+ years, she became a Mom while doing it and it didn't all go to plan.
We can't wait to share her story of grit, resilience and gratitude with you next week.
If any of this is resonates, please feel free to share with all of your friends who are also raising athletes. Our goal is to support parents in not only raising strong athletes, but extraordinary people.
We got this!
Thank you, Paul Revere Middle School!
I had so much fun this week talking to 6th and 7th graders this week about chasing down their BIG dreams!
I just love the idea that maybe, just maybe, I might say something, which inspires a child to go after what they really want in life. Who knows...?
I had the privilege of hearing Jack Canfield, author of the New York Time's Best-Selling book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, speak last weekend at an amazing event called EPIC day, which raised over $55,000 for CMomA, an organization which helps place children ages 5+ into adoption around the world. It is truly a gift to so many.
He opened by saying, "When we were trying to get this book off the ground, I sat in meditation and asked 'What should this book be called?' The first day I sat and heard.... crickets. The second day I sat and heard.... notta. The third day I sat and eventually heard this voice say, "Chicken Soup."
"Chicken soup?" I thought. What the heck does chicken soup have to do with what I'm trying to create here, which is a book about inspirational stories to help others.
The following day in meditation the voice repeated this chicken soup mantra and I heard, "What does your Mother make you when you're not feeling well?"
"Chicken Soup." Duh.
Well, I'd like to tell you that once he had that title nailed he threw it out to a publisher who quickly grabbed it and it instanteously became the best-seller we all know it to be today, right?
The first 143 publishers hated the title and said, "Yeah, nobody is going to buy a book of inspirational stories, but thanks anyway." No. No. NO thanks. Nope. Don't like it. Dumb idea. Who are you? Not a marketable book....
The 144th publisher to answer his phone down in Florida said to Jack, "Hmm, that sounds like an interesting book, sure let's do it." As Jack explains, "And, boy wasn't he glad that he said yes."
Two YEARS after he wrote it, it was finally published. Fourteen months after it was published, it finally hit a best-seller list. Hardly an overnight sensation, right?
But once it did finally catch on, boy did it go! They have since published over 225 different titles, in 47 different languages and it's been read by over 500 million people.
So tell me... what silly ideas do you or your teen have that someone has told you once or ten times, "No thanks"? The ideas that come to you in the shower or in a dream or a meditation or while working out, but you don't think anyone will "go for them"?
THOSE are the juicy ones. Those are the ones that we need to get really clear on why you'd like to do them and what they would look like.
How do we harvest those? This is exactly what I work with my clients on and it's SOOO much fun!
I give my clients tools and guides to help uncover these gifts, which are often times laying dormant inside us. Maybe for your young adult its a passion for a sport that is driving them right now but they don't know how to reach the goal or it's a hobby that they would love to do more with.
Or, one of my current clients, who is a former D1 athlete, who is now figuring out how to translate all of her success from college in the classroom and in the boat (she was a rower), to a career she feels as passionately about, this is exactly the kind of stuff we work together on.
Her Mom, Anne, texted me the other day after she finished her first phone interview with her dream company, and was told immediately she'd be passed along to the second round,
"They told her immediately they were pushing her to the next step!!.... And it goes without saying, thanks for preparing her and for helping her to realize her greatness!! I LOVE how great you are at your job!"
I love my job! I am so grateful to be able to be of service.
He trains NBA legends every day. I think he may have a few nuggets for us on what really matters when you're trying to improve your performance. I can't wait to speak with him!
Reply to this email with your question and you may just hear the answer on the next podcast. (Don't worry, names will be kept completely confidential).
We got this!
Well, can you believe it, we’ve almost made it to February already. How are your teen athlete’s New Year’s resolutions going? Did you try the Teen Athlete Balance exercise with them? (If you haven’t yet, you can grab a free copy on my website.)
Eight percent of us Americans will have ditched our resolutions by Valentine’s Day and it’s no wonder. It’s hard and not a lot of fun!
When our family sat down and wrote out our goals for 2018 on New Year’s Day, the one common goal that each one of us wrote down was to eat healthier. We are surrounded by sugar. It’s virtually in everything that’s processed that we eat and in everything we drink and it makes it incredibly difficult to live an active, on the go, no time for a family sit-down meal life.
We agreed that while getting rid of soda would be easy for most of us, eliminating desserts and snacks wouldn’t. And, when you have the “well I work out, I can eat whatever I want” mentality, while that may be true, the question becomes, but are you really getting the most out of your workouts and performances when you’re fueled on cheap carbohydrates?
So what do we do as we approach February and you’ve already thrown in the towel on your New Year’s resolutions for 2018?
Here are my TOP 5 Tips for Helping Your Teen Athlete Get What They Want This Year
It starts with cutting yourself a HUGE slack burger with cheese. So you messed up and chugged that In-n-Out soda last night, oh well. Let it go. It’s a new day. Start now.
2) Ask Why.
When we know why we want to achieve something we are much more attached to getting to the outcome. If you don’t know WHY you are doing something, chances are it probably won’t stick. So ask your teen to write this down. Why do I want to stop drinking soda?
3) Action plan.
This one tends to send people into shutdown. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Your teen may say for soda, “My action plan is to drink non-sugared flavored water instead or protein shakes.” My son loves the ICE drinks and the Muscle Milk. Yes, Muscle Milk still has some sugar in it, but it’s also got 20g of protein, which his growing body needs.
4) Enlist Help.
Who’s help does he need to make this goal a reality? Obviously, it’s got to start with his intrinsic desire, but I can support the mindset by keeping all soda out of the house and the fridge stocked with better choices.
5) Establish a Reward.
Talk about a milestone goal with him. It doesn’t need to be a big deal. What would be something he’d love to do that 30 days from now to “celebrate”? Maybe it’s just an acknowledgement at the family dinner. Ask how it feels to have stuck with something for 30 days. These are are little micro-wins. Every day you put yourself out there in the direction of your goal, you give yourself the opportunity to inch forward towards it. And a “win” in one area can lead to wins in other areas. High tides raise all boats. Once we start to seeing one part of our life going well, we’re more apt to try something new and different in another area as well.
But, what if I failed 29 days in? You congratulate yourself on being human, laugh, and try again tomorrow.
What goals does your teen have for this coming year? I’d love to hear from you about what they are going after and how you are supporting them in their journey.
Speaking of dreaming big, I just started my brand new Sports Parenting podcast called #RaisingAthletes with Susie Walton. We will be interviewing coaches, parents, athletes and trainers alike all about everything youth sports. So please CLICK HERE to listen to our first episode on iTunes, subscribe and share with your parenting friends!
This week, we talk about the sentencing given to USA Gymnastics most trusted doctor who molested over 140 gymnasts over decades. How we can help teach our kids to advocate for themselves and the 4 Guiding Principles parents can use to help their athlete. 1) Build self-confidence, 2) Use your voice, 3) Establish your boundaries, 4) Advocate for yourself.
Every week, we'll also be answering YOUR questions...so respond to this email and you just might hear your question read on our next episode!
Imagine for a minute what it feels like to get THE call…
“Hey, this is Coach Johnson from the University of So and So. I just watched you play. You were incredible! I’d love to set up some time to talk with you about coming on an official visit to our campus, meet the team and show you what we’re all about here. What do you think?”
This is the dream conversation my 17 year old, CJ, has going on in his head, I believe, on a daily basis. It’s a beautiful fantasy and I remember it well as a high schooler myself dreaming of playing college athletics.
It is the culmination of years of hard work, tears and sweat. Dreams of playing at the next level are places with very rarefied air.
There are days when everything goes your way, the bucket is five feet wide, and you can’t get winded running up and down the court. And then there are those other days, like last weekend, when my son’s team played in a Jordan Invitational and within the first 10 minutes of the game, the team was down 20, the boys all looked like they’d gladly sub out, and it felt like the clock really wasn’t ticking down.
After the game, I asked CJ, “What was going on out there?”
“I don’t know.” He said completely dejected and demoralized. "I was so focused externally on everything going on around the court before the game including the college coaches that I wanted to impress which made me think about how many points I needed to score, which caused me to essentially shut everything down. For the first time ever, I didn’t want to be out there. It scared me.”
What he was experiencing is what psychologists like to call the “fight or flight” response. It’s triggered when adrenaline rushes to our brains and we feel overwhelmed and then potentially go into shutdown.
We size up a situation IN OUR HEADS and decide whether we think we’re able to handle the stress. If we determine that we can, we’re off to the races. But if we think that perhaps we're outmatched, unprepared or outsized, we take the path of least resistance and flee to the nearest cave.
It’s incredibly painful to see our teens go through this experience. You watch everything they work for and feel like it could evaporate it an instant.
So what do you do?
You go back to the basics.
Here are my top three tips for crushing your 2018 year
(be it on the court, in the classroom, or in your personal life)
1) FOCUS on what you can control.
When you are distracted with anything that's outside of your direct control, you are losing energy and focus. I told CJ- “Be a racehorse. Put on the blinders. Whether a coach shows up or doesn’t, whether there’s a crowd or not, all of that is outside of your control. Put on the blinders and go to work on your game.”
2) Pick ONE thing you are going to do this next game. ONE. He chose rebounding. "I’m going to go out there and make offensive rebounds. I’m not going to worry about my shot, that will come, I’m going to be solely focused on crashing the boards. Oh, and I’m going to play a little bit pissed off. I’m too nice out there.” #getangry
3) Stay in the NOW. We spend 90% of our day reflecting on the past or dreaming about the future (see opening line), but when we stay IN THE MOMENT, it is when we open up the possibility for greatness. World renowned Hungarian psychologist, Mikaly Czikscentmihily, discovered the concept of flow.
FLOW comes when our skills plus our challenges are reaching an apex. Flow feels like we are completely involved in what we are doing. We are focused. There is a sense of ecstasy - of being outside of everyday reality. There is a great inner clarity, a knowing of what needs to be done and how well we are doing. There is a sense of serenity- no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego.
Doesn’t that sound wonderful? I’ll have what she’s having! And here’s the really good news….. you can!
January is the wonderful “Yeah, let’s start over!", but awful because “It’s so daunting!", but wonderful because, “Yeah, we get to hit the “RESET” button!” month. So as your teen is thinking about what would feel REALLY good to be sitting in December 2018 and be saying, “YES! I did that,” think of three good, juicy, just outside of my comfort zone, goals with them… and then let’s talk about getting your teen and YOU into flow!
Much Love & Ridiculous, “Off the chain" success for 2018!
VIDEO: Here’s a fun strategy to use when helping your teen athlete set goals
(Click on the image below!)
P.S. Download my free tool to help your teen athlete set big goals!
TEEN ATHLETE BALANCE WHEEL
I caught myself whining (in my head) the other day. I wasn't motivated to go do this exercise class I love and I hate, which is why I love it. It's called Burn60. I love it because there is no hiding on the stupid treadmill. I hate it because, yep, you guessed it, there. is. no. hiding on the floor exercises.
Sometimes we just need to trick ourselves into doing what we know is good for us by finding ways which won't allow us to hide. My current way is called "Kristin." Every time she bloody texts me to tell me she signed up for a class, I've promised myself I'd get there as well. Because, as most of us know, if we waited until we "felt like it", most of the time, life just wouldn't happen.
I was recently asked by a Mom what advice I had for her unmotivated teen. Her daughter is a very talented waterpolo player, but just isn't that motivated to go to practice. She has what we like to call, "shiny object syndrome". She gets very into one activity, sport or hobby and when she's in, she's ALL in. But then a hot minute goes by and she's not. It drives the mother cra-zy.
So here's the thing with teens, if you think it's tough to motivate yourself, as a grown adult who understands repercussions of not being consistent and not "showing up" for your work or workout or goal, try reasoning with a teenager.
If you (or a coach or teacher or mentor) can help your teen get clear on her vision, the motivation will come. I'm not saying it will always be easy (see aforementioned treadmill), but when she knows her "why I am doing this" AND is willing to embrace it, good things happen.
BEFORE YOU KEEP READING...
Download my FREE Parenting Tips on how to encourage FAILURE (gasp...I know...)
My Top 4 Tips for Helping Your Teen Find Their Mojo
#1. Identify opportunities for her to "own" her goal. If she says she wants to be a waterpolo player, give her chances to show you she's interested by packing her own bag, getting herself up for early practice, speaking with the coach about her playing time, etc. OWN it.
#2. Help her set long-term goals. It may or may not involve a specific sport. And that is fine. Because at some point we all need to realize that the life of the athlete will end and she will need to have passions
out of the pool as well. Studies show that when teens identify LONG term goals, they are more willing to persist and overcome short-term obstacles.
#3. Teens can be very self-centered and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. This is the time they are supposed to be realizing their own identity (and that they won't be moving back into the basement after college), so encourage them to explore their curiosities. When they find what they are truly interested in, they are also 10 times more likely than adults to become addicted to something (again, this can be a good thing) if she sees the benefit for herself and is willing to "do the work". This is a great way to build intrinsic motivation.
#4. Use social for good. There are positive role models out there. Have her look up the best college water polo players in her position. Find YouTube footage of the best local team playing and go watch a match. Have her research how those players train. What do they eat? What does their strength and conditioning program look like? Where did that girl get her start? What have the best players gone on to do? Be a coach? Play on the national team? Play overseas?
Did you miss my latest interview about motivating teens on The 10 Minute Interview with Asia Mape from I Love To Watch You Play? Asia, in the past twenty years has worked for all the major Sports Networks; Fox Sports, ESPN, TNT, NFL Network and NBC Sports covering some of the most coveted events including five Olympics, NBA playoffs, and Super Bowls. I was honored to be interviewed by her!
You can check it out here.
2017 has been an amazing year of growth for me and as I count my blessings, I realize I am just getting started! Wait until you see what I have in store for you in 2018! I can't wait to share...
If you have friends with young athletes, who you think would enjoy reading my blog or listening to my interviews, the greatest gift you could give me would be the gift of a "Share" and a "Like" on social. I would be truly honored.
Sending lots of holiday cheer to all!
My family is off to Park City to play in the white stuff! See you in 2018!
What a shock it was Wednesday morning to wake at dawn to the sounds of fire engines racing by, only to find that there was a major fire raging a little over a mile from our house, just up the canyon on the 405, here in Los Angeles. My husband, Evan, jumped in the car to go see for himself and came across a man in scrubs loading his fine artwork into the back of his SUV. Evacuations were called for all of Bel Air and everyone North of Sunset. We live on the West side of the 405 just opposite Bel Air and Westwood, so very very close to this.
We, like so many other Angelenos have been sitting here watching, waiting, feeling completely helpless as to which way the winds will blow and how it will affect our lives.
By Wednesday night, the news was reporting that the fire was only 5% contained, the neighbors were advising to water down your homes, shut off your gas and pack a bag in case urgent evacuation was necessary.
Evan and I chatted with the kids about preparations. Evan asked them, “Ok, if you needed to take only your most essential items, what would they be?
BEFORE YOU KEEP READING...
Download my FREE Parenting Tips on how to encourage FAILURE (gasp...I know...)
”Kylie quickly jumped in, “Well, obviously Lexi (our Golden Lab) and my blanket and my stuffed animals.”
Parker thought for a second and said, “Uhh… Mac and cheese?” (the kid has a ridiculous obsession with that food-like substance)
This not only made me laugh, but also quickly brought things into perspective and forced me to ask the question of myself. “What would I take?"
The answer arrived immediately.
Take your family (pup included!) and leave.
Everything else is replaceable. It’s just stuff.
A wonderful book I read a few years ago and pull off the shelf every once in a while whenever I’m in need to an “attitude adjustment” about what really matters is, The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch.
In it, one of the stories he tells is how he once had gotten a brand new BMW. He was so proud of it, he drove it over to his sister’s house and told his niece and nephew,
“Now, jump in the back seat and pour this can of Coke all over the seats.”
His sister and niece and nephew just stood there and looked at him completely perplexed.
He matter of fact responded, “Well, it’s going to happen anyway, so we might as well get it over with!”
The message was clear. Value people. Not things.
Praying for all of those directly impacted by these horrible fires; the animals, the people and the communities.
Much Love - Kirsten
P.S. Randy Pausch was a a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon when he was asked to give a speech to his college students titled, The Last Lecture. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” - Randy Pausch
P.P.S. If you're a mom...
...looking to take a break from the hustle of preparing for the holidays and you're feeling the need to reconnect with your daughter and remember what this season is all about--family and connection.
Did you miss my 10 minute interview with Asia Mape from I Love To Watch You Play? Asia, in the past twenty years has worked for all the major Sports Networks; Fox Sports, ESPN, TNT, NFL Network and NBC Sports covering some of the most coveted events including five Olympics, NBA playoffs, and Super Bowls. I was honored to be interviewed by her!
You can check it out here.
noun, 1. the agency, function, or power of a person authorized to act as the deputy or substitute for another.
Kylie, my eleven year old daughter, jumped into the car the other night at school. I was picking her up late from a practice. She was fighting back tears which were welling up in her eyes. I could see how distressed she was and given that she's normally a pretty happy child, I inquired,
"Hey, kiddo, how's it going?"
"Well, not good. My band teacher is mad at me. He says he's going to give me F's for my homework sheet. He knows that it's me, not you signing the piece of paper. He says its a legal document and a parent has to sign it," she muttered quietly not looking me in the eyes.
"Hmmm. Well, that's interesting."
Just a few weeks prior, after hearing Jessica Lahey speak, (author of New York Times Best-selling parenting book, The Gift of Failure), I took some of her advice to heart and decided to "give it a whirl".
She had shared her point of view as both a teacher and parent on how we're disempowering our children by doing everything for them. We're racing over to the school with every forgotten homework assignment or instrument (Guilty- I've done this) and checking the school "parent portal" for grades on a daily basis (Do you ever know what your kid has gotten on their test or quiz before they have? Yup, guilty of that as well) and finally, we're also disempowering them by signing every assignment that comes home when the teacher asks for it.
Now, I understand why this teachers ask for this. It's a big C-Y-A for the teachers. I'm sure teachers get tired of hearing parents say, "I had no idea my son/daughter was doing so poorly in this class. I wish I would have know, I would have come sooner to meet with you if I had." But the truth is, every time we "take over" and sign something for them, they no longer "own it". It's now Mom or Dad's issue to worry about. Problem solved, temporarily anyway.
A few weeks prior to Kylie getting this feedback from her band instructor, I had told her she could be my proxy because what I knew when I was signing the paper which stated whether she practiced every day or not, that she most definitely was not. I was curious to see how she would handle it if she was given the responsibility of honestly (and I know this is a high value for her) reporting back how much she practiced at home.
I can't say it was a "miracle cure", there was no magic pill and she didn't now practice every night, however, she did now OWN when she hadn't been practicing and together we worked out a plan where I would remind her to practice once her homework was done and before she could move onto playing for the afternoon. We both agreed to the plan.
So, my question for you is, what can you give your child proxy over? What is something you can really just let go of and be willing to get a little push-back on (if it's really unnecessary).
- Are you willing to stay out of the "parent portal" and let your kid manage her/his own grades?
- Are you will to let your child talk to their coach themselves if they aren't getting the playing time you feel like he/she should be?
- Are you willing to stay out of the argument your child is having with a friend by brainstorming with them the wording and phrasing they should use when they go talk to the friend themselves.
If we truly want to raise empowered kids, ones who will to be able to navigate this often confusing and sometimes messy world, we need to be willing to start letting go of our control now. It's not always going to be easy or straightforward, but eventually you won't be able to be there for every life event (assume wifi goes out for just a few minutes and they can't reach you, as we are often tethered to them even after they are grown and flown), nor should you. And you will both be so proud when they are adults. You have worked yourself out of a job and now can just be his/her friend.
Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Asia Mape, one of the Co-Creators of www.Ifyouletmeplay.com. We discussed the issue "Is youth sports were ruining our kids childhoods?"
I would love to hear your thoughts, over on my website, KirstenJonesInc.com
P.S. If you're a mom looking to take a break from the hustle of preparing for the holidays and you're feeling the need to reconnect with your daughter and remember what this season is all about--family and connection. Then come join me and other mothers & daughters for our December Butterfly Beach Club on December 16! Reserve your spot HERE.
Details can be found RIGHT HERE!
March Madness will be here before we know it!
I know, I know, 2017 isn't even over yet and I'm already obsessing about March 2018?
Well, yeah, kind of. High school basketball across the country officially kicks off it's season next week. Not only is there a lot of excitement brewing in the air but also a bit of anxiety (for parents and players) around how the next five months will play out. And while we all have dreams of making it to "post-season" play, as individuals, we don't have a lot of control over exactly how the win-loss record will go.
We do, however, have a few things we have 100% control over.
Here are the Top 3 Non-Negotiables I work with my clients (and my own kids!) on as they get their mindsets ready prior to the start of his/her season:
#1: Start with YOU.
#2: Growth Mindset.
#3: Be like Monmouth.
#1: Start with YOU.
"It's not my fault."
"She never passes the ball."
"That call was SO lousy! We would have won if it wasn't for the refs."
It's VERY easy to pass the blame. But if we are always looking for a scapegoat, we are going to miss the true opportunity to learn. Words carry a lot of weight in how we perceive a situation. So ask good questions.
Players ask yourselves: "What can I do better?" "What responsibility do I have in the outcome of this game? Did I give my best effort (on and off the court)? How was my attitude? What support did I give my teammates? Did I have fun?
Parents ask yourselves (before giving feedback to your child about a game): "What feedback is helpful in this instance?" Give yourself 15-20 minutes after a game before chatting to your child. Sometimes I just pick a different topic all together when getting into the car with my kid after the game.
If you can't think of a helpful question to ask, just say, "I love to watch you play." If your child wants to talk about it, let them drive the conversation. There is no need for you to re-hash every missed pass or poorly taken shot (by a teammate or your child.)
#2 Growth Mindset.
Having done decades of research on what drives motivation, achievement and success in education, sports and business, Stanford Psychology Professor, Carol S Dweck Ph.D is considered the pre eminent authority on how we can not only coach but more effectively teach our children to be more resilient, gritty and willing to work for long-term goals.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
Tip: Check out www.mindsetonline.com to learn more.
Double click on this image below. Print it and put it on your kid's bathroom mirror! (Our minds are so powerful. If you're seeing this regularly, you'll start to incorporate this into how you give and receive feedback).
#3: Be like Monmouth.
Head Coach for UConn's Women's Basketball program, 11-time Division I National Championship winner & 7-time Naismith Coach of the Year, Geno Auriemma has some very poignant advice for athletes:
- "Be happy for your teammates when they are playing well."
- "Our coaching staff puts a HUGE premium on body language."
- "When I watch game film, I'm watching the bench."
TIP: Click on the image to the right hear from Coach Auriemma.
What if your kid isn't a starter or doesn't get much playing time?
I'm working with a high school client, Tom, (not his real name) right now who's getting ready for the start of his basketball season and one of his top desires is to increase his playing minutes.
Here's what we've been working on and some of the coaching I've shared with him:
He is a fabulous athlete and competitor, (which you have to be to make your high school team these days!). He's already gone directly to the coaches individually to find out what he needs to work on. They have acknowledged his hard work in practice and that he's getting stronger in his shooting. This is a great first step, and one to keep working on throughout the season.
TIP: Keep asking for feedback (growth mindset) and checking in with coaches and teammates.
So the second, more subtle, step is deciding how he shows up to practices and games. Whether he's out on the floor getting minutes or on the bench cheering his teammates on, bring the attitude that makes it impossible for them not to play you.
Have you ever heard of Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, NJ? Neither had I until a couple years ago when their basketball team's bench (not the team!) started making ESPN's Sports Center's highlights.
Does YOUR team's bench look like Monmouths?
What's your version of this? We are ALL made up of energy, so when we share positive energy, it's infectious. It spreads.
What type of energy are YOU spreading?
Recently, I was lucky enough to discover that East Coast based, New York Times Best-Selling author, Jessica Lahey, (FB: @jessicapottslahey, www.jessicalahey.com) was speaking a mere hour from my house (that’s like practically next door in LA terms!). I immediately cleared my calendar for that evening and drove excitedly over to hear her speak about her book (now in it’s 11th printing), The Gift of Failure (Harper).
It was a small gathering of 40-ish parents at the La Canada Elementary School library. Jessica, a middle school teacher and engaging storyteller, whose realization about the short-comings in her own parenting came to light while she was teaching middle school.
As with so many of us, it is so obvious what needs to be done when someone else has a problem, however, it’s perplexing that when we are struggling with how to find a solution for one of our own issues, we can’t see the forest for the trees. She says she had this epiphany about her own parenting short-comings as she was seeing many of the parents of her middle schoolers swooping in and “doing the work” for their children.
Whether it was a project which used language far beyond a middle schoolers vocabulary level (but quite on par with a college professor's, which a few of her students parents were) or it was merely over-involvement on homework or just consistent rescuing the child by racing the forgotten homework assignment over to the school so that they wouldn’t get a zero.
Jessica came home one afternoon to her then, 9 yr old, wearing rain boots three sizes too big, only to find out that he had worn his brother's boots to school that day (and missed playing in PE- his favorite subject) because he didn’t know yet how to tie his shoes!She said, “It just hit me hard. I realized all this time, I’m thinking I’m doing him a favor by taking care of this little thing for him so we can get out the door to school on time. So we sat down and you what, within an hour, he had it nailed.” Problem solved.
Before you keep reading...
Download my FREE Parenting Tips on how to encourage FAILURE (gasp...I know...)
We can all relate, right? I have said to myself in the past…. I would let my kids make their own lunches but it drives me crazy when I walk into the (formerly clean kitchen) and see the mac and cheese all over the stove, and the counter, and in the sink, along with the dirty pan used to make the mac and cheese. And don’t forget the spilled milk on the counter and the butter dish left out with a couple pieces of mac and cheese now soaking in it.
I decided to make peace with that butter dish and the cheesy stovetop. And here’s why.
Because today it may be the rain boots or the butter dish, but before we know it we’re going to be waking up and they are going to be gone. Out of our daily lives and off trying to conquer that big, scary, messy world.
No longer will it be only be rain boots or mac and cheese problems, thanks to us over-rescuing them for everything they do, they will be completely incapable of handling the stuff in life that really counts.
Last weekend, my husband and I were set to go away for the weekend for an event in Orange County. We did something we’ve never done before… we left the kids (ages 17, 14, and 11) home alone for the night.
I figured, the age-appropriate equivalent of Jessica’s "rain boot" story for me was testing the waters around empowering them to learn how to fend for themselves for 24 hours. I know, this isn’t a long time, and that’s why it’s so perfect. It's a baby-step. We need to take lots of them and so do they.
Before we left, we sat them down and we told them, “This is a test.” (Yes, just like those tests from the Emergency Broadcasting Systems. Remember those?)
We know that you are capable and competent and we’re excited to give you this opportunity to “go it alone for a night.” They all smiled and nodded in agreement, “We got this."
Throughout the course of the night at the event, my aunt kept asking me, “How are the kids doing?” I have to say, it actually felt really good to reply, “I don’t know. I left my phone in the hotel room!”
The following afternoon, when we returned home, I was absolutely floored by what I saw when I walked in.
The house was immaculate. And when I say my oldest child is not a tidy person, I mean that he has a gift at spreading clothes around a room faster than a gardener can spread Miracle Grow. Yet his room was spotless.
Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I oh-so casually mentioned, “Thanks for cleaning up. Your room looks great.”
“Oh thanks, Mom. We all pitched in. It was no big deal.”
So I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised (but I am) when this week, he worked four hours on a English paper. In fact, he took it into his teacher TWICE for review with her prior to the deadline so he could make edits. Wha-wha?
This from a kid who crawled through Freshmen English with his eyes closed and phoned it in Sophomore year scraping by with barely a B. Hmm... so you're saying my kid wants to be empowered?
In fact, they are really asking us to let go. In 18 months, he will be gone from my watchful eye on a daily basis, anyway, so I might as well empower him now. He has figured out how to be successful by getting lots of coaching and feedback around what he's most passionate around, basketball. So it's our job, as his parents, to teach him that this approach can work in all facets of his life.
It’s not easy, and it doesn’t always go smoothly, but they will thank us for it later. Hopefully.
Do you have any stories to share about parenting a teen (could be school, sports or socially) and letting go? I’d love to hear them!
Much Love & Successful Parenting!
Gratitude of the week:
I had so much fun speaking to the 30+ high school students at ASLA, which is Matthew McConnaughey's Foundataion, Just Keep Livin'.
We talked about what it means to go after our biggest dreams and how to get there.
These kids have HUGE goals: Everything from curing Lupus (for a Mother who struggles with it) to attending Julliard.
Or, my personal favorite, from a Senior named, Sebastian, "I want to graduate from high school next spring. Not because I want to go to college, because most likely I won't, but because I know I'll be very proud of myself if I do. And that's what matters." Truth.
"His stomach problems have disappeared since he started working with you four weeks ago."
I just LOVE coaching teens for Peak Performance! I was so thrilled to hear this report from the mother of one of my clients this week.
Lisa said, "John (not their real names) had been having major stomach issues, which would get triggered in times of stress. With the tools you have given him over the course of the last month, they have completely been eliminated from his life (on and off the court). He had a great tournament last weekend, it didn't all go according to plan, by the way, but he worked through the issues and came off the floor with a huge smile on his face. Thank you. We are so thrilled!"
We, as parents, can think of no worse pain than to see our kids in a limiting mindset that is potentially holding them back from reaching peak performance. And, so often it is this pain that keeps them "playing small" and not believing in themselves, which ultimately leads them down the path of relative unhappiness. And what parent doesn't want to see their kid happy? We are all guilty of that, right? Why is that seemingly simple request so complicated some times?
Hint: It starts from within. It starts with you.
Here are my TOP 3 Mindset Tips in Helping
Your Teen Prior to their Next Game-
1) Meet them where THEY are. The evening before their game, when you're saying goodnight to your child, ask them what they are most looking forward to about their game tomorrow?
- "Finally beating that team"
- "Playing my best and scoring 20 points!"
- "Seeing my friends and wearing those cute new purple socks we all got!"
After they have answered the question and you have really listened to what it is they want you hear. Then you can respond in kind by meeting them where they are. I.e, if your child only cares about the purple socks, you worrying about the outcome of the game is pointless, right? If they do want to talk about their performance and how they hope to play, ask them to tell you a story.
Ask them, "If the game could go exactly as you'd like, how would it go?" (hint: don't forget the juicy details!) The more specific they can be the better. They are literally painting a picture of what is going to happen tomorrow, make it good.
2) Seal it with a KISS. Wherever the vision for their game takes them, whether the focus is on the socks or the 20 points they want to score, give them a little "homework" assignment and you kiss them on the forehead.
You can say, "Did you know that whatever goes through your mind last, is what your brain processes over night? Spend these last 10 minutes of awake time picturing what that will feel like tomorrow. I can't wait to watch you play."
3) Go slow to go fast. And finally, this 3rd step is for YOU. It seems counter-intuitive, we're busy, we've got a lot to do over the course of the weekend. Who has time to slow down?
Here's what it sounds like at the Jones household on most Saturday mornings:
"Grab your water. Load the snacks. Don't forget your equipment! Did you eat? And for Pete's sake, would you please brush your teeth! We're going to be late! I'll meet you in the car! Where is the game this morning, anyway?"
You want me to slow down? Yeah, right! But, yes, I do. I want you to set your alarm 20minutes earlier than you normally do.
- Before you turn on your phone and check your email.
- Before you wake up your kid.
- Before you even turn on the coffee pot.
Check in (with yourself). It's an easy 5-15 minutes of letting go. Sit up tall, back against the couch and your head free. Close your eyes and surrender. You can take deep breaths, or count 1-5 and then 5-1. You are letting go. You are not thinking about the 20 things you will do today, you are enjoying this little alone time.
End your little self-imposed "time out" with a prayer of gratitude:
"Today is a gift. We GET to go enjoy this beautiful day together watching our kids play sports! How lucky are we?" Whatever comes to mind that morning.
Now you are ready to seize your day And the best news? You've already succeeded for the day. If NOTHING else goes to plan that day, it doesn't matter, you've already won. But given that you took the time to "do the work" and prepare for success, I think you'll be surprised how often things do roll your way!
Have an awesome weekend! I can 't wait to hear how it went!
Much Love & Successful Parenting~
3 BIG LESSONS FROM MY YEAR OF DISCOVERY...
My "entrepreneurial awakening" started 12 months ago when I decided that I needed to either "jump in with both feet" or quit pretending like I was going to "do this". Either "sh!t or get off the pot, girlfriend," was what my inner bossy self was telling me. I was tired of pretending that I could create a successful coaching business all on my own, without the support, knowledge or guidance of others who have gone before me. Ironically, I was offering my services to coach others without getting any coaching myself. Hmmm, strange how we're sometimes blinded by our own short-sidedness, isn't it? As a lifelong athlete, who has been coached consistently throughout not only her sports career but also her corporate one, it finally occurred to me that I could go much faster and further together than I ever could alone.
So, last August, I made the decision to invest in myself in two big areas (both financially and time-wise).
- I took a meditation course. I could bore you with all of the benefits, get more done, peak performance, better sex, better parking karma, etc., but in the interest of time, check out www.ZivaMeditation.com. It requires 20min, twice a day. And before you start listing all the reasons this won't work, just. check. it. out. As a person who's probably never made it past my birthday (January 15th) on a New Year's resolution, I can proudly say I've been meditating consistently for over a year now. Am I "perfect"? Does it happen every day, 2 times per day? No. No. No. Most definitely not. And this is the beauty of it... you don't have to be perfect. In fact, there is no perfect... all you have to do is be as good as the professional All-Star MLB players who. while making millions of dollars a year, hit the ball only 3 out of every 10 times they stand at the plate. Why can't you? I would guess I'm "batting" maybe 7 out of 10. When I miss... "Oh well, try again." And now when I do miss, I'm finding sneaky ways to "squeeze it in", like while waiting in the car for my son's practice to end. NOTE: You DON 'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. In fact, perfect is boring. Let it go.
- Divine Living Academy. I joined 230+ other women, literally from around the world on a journey to each grow our own businesses. I, of course, naively, signed up to learn about what processes and procedures I'd need to run a successful online business, which of course is part of it, but the real lessons you learn are about the journey within. When we understand what truly motivates us (i.e, our "why") and who and how we desire to serve and combine that with pulling back the curtain on the blinders we have to what's going on in our sub-conscious mind (i.e, our "limiting beliefs"), which keep us in fear, "playing small" and not only not reaching our goals, but sometimes keeping us from even starting.
So I as I reflect on my most recent trip, which took me back to one of my favorite cities, Paris, I see 3 big "wins" that may look like no big deal to an outsider, but have helped me feel 12 months in, that I'm "onto something." I'm on my path to really breaking open and creating even a fuller life I love. A life I get to share the gifts I believe I've been brought here to share.
1) Don't overthink it.
I've been literally wracking my brain on this one all year. Who do I serve? How can I help? What's my best angle? Blah, blah, blah.... boring! This is where the meditation can comes into play. When we let go, when we're ready to surrender, we've carried our pain, our worry, our angst long enough and we're ready to set it down, then the gift can appear. Whatever it is that you're telling yourself, "Well, once I figure THIS out, I'll be happy," let it go.
Find one thing you can focus on right now and do that. When that's done, come back to me and let's talk. We put 100 things on our to do list and then get so disappointed in ourselves when we flail after not living up to our imaginary perfect standard.
2) Let Fear be Your Companion.
Which leads me to the second point. We spend our lives being told, "Get out of fear. Fear less. Push through your fear." What if we did the opposite? What if we welcomed fear to the table, made her a nice cup of tea and said, "Listen, wench, I've got this thing I'd like to do and you keep getting in the way. What do you say, instead of me fighting you on this, we partner together? It's okay if you want to come along, I won't let you control me on this any longer, I'm really fine with you here, but just so you know, I'm going to be over here doing this ONE thing. I'd love your support. So what do you say? You in?" Talk to her (Out loud. Go ahead, she won't mind). Let her know you see her. And then take a step forward.
3) You 've got options.
Ever get so stuck in your way of thinking, you can't see "the forest for the trees?" This must get done and it must get done this way. Hate to over stress this point, but it is only when we are able to tap into our unfocused mind (through meditation and other mundane activities- yes, like gardening or doing the dishes or taking out the trash) that we start to see other possibilities. Other solutions to that problem we were so sure there was only one way to solve.
I've had this epiphany in my business lately. I was thinking that there was only one way to "do this." I needed to "follow the formula" that was being presented, because it worked for her. Well, it could work for you as well.... or not. And when I was open to other solutions, ways that feel truly good to ME, I realized I was onto something. If we're creating something but it's not in our true, authentic way, it may work in the short term, but it will NEVER be sustainable in the long run. Even if you're able to fool yourself for a few minutes, months, or years, eventually you'll either get frustrated and angry about your lack of results or even if you are able to get the results you desire on paper, you won't be happy or fulfilled while you're doing it.
Our hearts and souls know when we 're doing something joyfully and whole-heartedly. How is your life running now? Are you moving on your path with joy or is it running you into the ground? There's no time like the present to course-correct.
I grew up on a lot of land in rural Montana. Looking back now, as an adult, on my childhood, I can gratefully say, it was an amazing upbringing.
My parents loved to entertain and we happened to have the perfect "slice of heaven" to do it. We lived on 29 acres in the middle of the forest, where bear and deer often meandered through. With fields for horses, a pool, a trout pond and a tennis court, it was the ideal place to have family friends over, where we'd swim until dusk and BBQ like nobody’s business.
Every get-together, after the boys had finished chasing the girls with snakes, some adult had inevitably gotten thrown into the pool fully clothed, kids had swam and/or played basketball (and adults had consumed some “adult beverages”), the sun faded and the stars came out, and that's when it got very memorable.
WE ALWAYS HAD A BIG BONFIRE.
Parents would sit around chatting about “parent things” as we, kids, roasted S’mores. As the evening wore on, we inevitably were instructed by our much older neighbors, who lead us in a Native American “Rain Dance.”
I don’t remember how often it actually rained after we danced, but I do remember the words and the hand motions (while dancing, of course), precisely (Spelling the lyrics is another story entirely. They might not be quite as precise.)
Ah-cooney, cooney, checka-ah-ooney.
Ah-cooney, cooney, checka-ah-ooney.
Ooh— w ah-ooh-wah-oonah kitchy.
This memory popped into my head as I heard about a very successful tribe in Africa, who apparently has 100% success rates of getting it to rain whenever they do a rain dance.
Wow! 100%? Really?
How could they be so good?
The answer is very simple.
Whenever they start a rain dance, they never stop… until it rains. Period.
How often do you start something, all excited as you begin. But after you get a quarter or a third of the way through it, you don’t feel like you’re getting the results you think you desire. So what do you do? You throw in the towel, of course!
If you want results, you need to dance until it rains.
If there is no forecast for rain, good news, you have more time to plan WHAT you're going to do. But when you are making it rain... you need commitment, perserverence, and grit.
I'd love to hear your rain dance plans... if you need help figuring them out or encouragement to keep dancing, you know where to find me!
But he needs me.
He can't do this on his own.
I'm only being helpful....
It's so hard to let go. The process starts the moment they arrive, and doesn't stop until long after we send them off to live independently.
As my two younger children headed back to school this week, it occurred to me that my oldest child will flying out of the nest in just two short years. Now, you may say, "Chill, lady...you've got TWO years! Relax, Rome wasn't built in a day. You've got plenty of time."
This is, of course, true. However, it also occurs to me that we've now been living in Los Angeles exactly two years this week. Two years? What the what?! Are you sure? I just got here. Where did time go?
So, knowing that the next two years will fly by at warp speed as well, and as I'm seeing many friends sending their "babies" off to college in the coming weeks, I thought about the tools I'd love to see my son have as he transitions from being a helpless dependent with no sense of where to get his next meal, ("Uhh, Mom, isn't there an app for that?") to how he will become a completely independent contributing member of society. #parentinggoals
I could write an entire book on this topic (hmmm, there's an idea...) but in a nutshell, the top five gifts (i.e., lessons) that parenting experts, college admission counselors, and your child's future hiring manager would beg you to impart on them as they transition into adulthood include:
Tip #1: Fail with a Capital F.
Tip #2: Don't Chase IG. (Instant Gratification or Instagram, for that matter)
Tip #3: Chunk it.
Tip #4: No Regrets.
Tip #5: Belt it from the Mountaintops.
Fail (often) with a Capital F.
When we don't let them experience the highs and the lows of trying something new, we also deprive them of experiencing true joy in life.
As parents, we're so programmed to not want them to be in pain, that we start removing opportunities which we view as potential set-backs before they even try. Possible defeat.
Well, defeat is a good teacher. It teaches us what we want, who we are and what we're made of (if we let it).
So let him take a swing.
When he first tried to walk, he came at you looking like Frankenstein, fell flat on his face and starting wailing, did you throw in the towel and say, "Well, that's it, pin the kid down. This is obviously hopeless!"
Tip: Let him try. (encourage him to try)
Try out for the sports team in the sport he's barely played. SO he gets cut. And that's ok.
Here comes the juicy learning opportunity for him: How did it feel? Would you like to get better and try again next year? What do you think it will take to get there? What help can I provide you in reaching that goal?
Or, once they get their license, let themdrive to high school (on the 405!) or across town for the Dodgers game. Of course, we're hoping for a safe passage here, which is nerve-wracking, but at some point we need to start inching out the rope. It starts by letting them drive to get gas, then high school and finally the open road.
We've conditioned ourselves think that byholding on tighter, they won't fail.
And you're right, for the moment they won't. But when the time comes for them to attempt something on their own (and you are no where to be found), not only will they not have the tools they need to try, but they won't have the self-talk telling them what's possible. (that's an entirely different blog, more on that later)
Inch out the rope. Let go. He can do it.
Instant Gratification doesn't lead to longterm happiness.
Find ways to create opportunities for him to understand what it means to delay gratification.
We are all so driven by that ping of our phones. The blissful sound that triggers the dopamine which floods the brain, oozing in warm, soft messages which whisper to our ego, "You are loved". So when it isn't happening, scarcity mentality kicks in and & panic runs rampant.
Tip: Unplug & turn off the phones by 9pm. (Leave them off, charging in the kitchen over night. Out of sight.) Leave the last 1-2 hours of the evening before bed for interaction... with each other. Gasp.
Tough to do with busy schedules and maybe you only do it a few nights a week. But just imagine the benefits even 30-50% improvement could bring. Would clarity of each others hopes and desires, support, connection and love be worth it?
Teach and model (if/when you can) good practice habits. You can talk about what it takes to succeed, but if you can have them experience it for themselves, they will then (eventually) be able to transfer (with a little coaching) the learning to other parts of their lives.
My oldest son, has to do summer reading. "It's pointless, Mom. I'll just read the Spark notes and 'phone in the answers' to the study guide. It's all good. It's what 'everybody' does."
(Ok, maybe that isn't exactly what he said, but that's what I heard.)
So, as a way to teach him how to "chunk" the goal and not have to eat the entire elephant in one bite, I helped set up a "book club" with several of his classmates. They cut the 2 books into four parts, we used a tutor to help facilitate the learning and the boys met every couple weeks throughout the summer to go through the study guide.
Tip: The (hopeful) outcome is that the wiring is being laid down so that he remembers, " when I plan the work up front, stick to the schedule and follow-up, I am successful." Perhaps I'll need to continue to help him with the scheduling, the follow-up and the reminders to read (for now), but the long-term goal is that in two years, when he's on his own, he can pull this "little tool" out of his "handy dandy toolbox", recall that it actually was beneficial to read The Illiad and Brave New World, and realizes it doesn't have to be painful. Voila!
Teaching them that when they take little calculated risks, they are moving themselves in the direction of their desires. It doesn't have to be a HUGE leap. Little steps will get you there.
My middle child, Parker, doesn't like heights, but he does love a good challenge. A couple of summers ago, he got stuck at the top of the high diving board. With 10 kids behind him waiting to go, crying and fearful, he was too scared to jump, but too frightened to back down the ladder.
Now what? He was at a total impass.
I gave him the out and said, "It's fine, Parker. You don't need to jump." A couple minutes later, feeling completely dejected, he eventually shimmied down the ladder.
Not 20 minutes later, he came over to me, "Mom, I want to face my fears. Will you help me go off the high dive?"
Tip: Find the little opportunities in the every day which are building the scaffolding to help them take risks and have no regerts. I mean regrets.
(Oh, and be prepared, as a side bonus, it usually forces you to face a few of your own as well!)
Sing from the Mountaintops.
Just imagine.... you've reached the mountain top. It's the highest point of Machu Picchu. The air is crisp and clear, your lungs are burning, you are completely exhausted and you couldn't be any prouder of yourself.
One of the most powerful acts highly successful people employ, is free.
What if f I told you it was available to you right now. Would you use it?
Here it is....
Tip: Act as if you already have. Whatever the goal or desire or outcome you wish to bring into being, spend 5 minutes a day visualizing it.
You made it to the top of Machu Picchu. Smell the crispness of the air and the freshness of the grass. Feel the burn of your lungs at 8,000ft and the soreness of your thighs which have just gotten you to this moment. This is a perfect moment. And you created it.
What are you creating next?
"Why even bother? You're a joke."
As I leave Vegas after 5 fun-filled days watching my two sons play a sport they love, basketball (ages 16 and 13), it gave me pause this week to think of our youth hoops journey to this point, dating back to this picture from above where my older son, CJ, at age 9, (making a dunk face) just "balled for love of the game".
And it's still stinging a bit thinking of all the pressure they and each athlete faced this week. The grandstanding by the parents and the coaches, the expectations that are put upon these kids to "win at all costs", particularly for those who are now in high school. The bar is very high and the tension in the gym, you can cut with a knife.
The further my older son's team progressed in the tournament this week, the more vile and aggressive the parents got, yelling at the refs and sometimes even swearing at the kids, each and every time up and down the floor. There was one Dad who literally moved to the bottom row of the bleachers to get closer to the floor so that he could heckle the ref each and every time she ran by.
Was the ref'ing perfect? For sure, not. There were many missed calls and bad oversights on the floor. And, I guess, you could rationalize that most of the yelling wasn't targeted "at the kids", so it's not that big of deal, right?
When did it become so accepted that you target the girl or guy, who I'm guessing are making $30-$50/game, who are also doing their best to try and call a "good game?" What are we modeling for our kids about what's acceptable behavior?
I believe this phenomenon has been growing, and it started sometime back when Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi and the Williams sisters game into their prime. It happened when parents started to fantasize that if they are able to sink a lot of money into their kid starting a sport at 3, 4 or 5 years of age, they too can "create a prodigy" (despite, perhaps taking their own lack of athletic background into the picture). It happened somewhere around the time when it changed from "just a game" to a belief for so many parents, that this could be their "golden ticket".
Where we have gone so wrong from one generation to the next is allowing this heckling and pressure on young kids, all for the .001% chance that "my kid is the one" to make it to the next level. When I was a young, we used to play because it was fun, because we needed to be outside until dark, because we LOVED the game. If my parents came to the game, great, but there was ZERO expectation that I would play sports in college.
But it's now evolved so that when 1,600 kids and their hopeful parents show up in Vegas (and many other places around the country for so many different sports including football, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and lacrosse) with hoop dreams, they believe they are paying for results and, it would seem, are entitled to belittle, scream and demean whomever they want to get results they desire.
This whole phenomenon has made me curious on the math and I wanted to help level set expectations for my son. What are the real, true odds my kid can play at the next level, college, much less the Division I level?
It ain't pretty, people!
It is really not in most people's favor....84:1. Not great Vegas odds.
Maybe they should post these statistics near the front door as you walk in the gym of every tournament and pay your $10. But then again, that really wouldn't do anyone any good, as it's become such a business. Everyone from the club programs to the gyms up to the college programs, need to make money off of this so I guess we're better off letting parents pay the big bucks, give up family vacations and quality time together as a family (what's that?), in hopes of chasing one of these very rare unicorn scholarships.
For male high school basketball players according to scholarshipstats.com:
And if these statistics aren't sobering enough to encourage you to say pass to at least one of these recruiting events this year and spend some family time together, consider this.... the AVERAGE height of those 5,134 Division I players is 6'7". A-v-e-r-a-g-e.
So as our family leaves Vegas and hits the road this week for Jackson Hole, Wyoming (wo-hoo!), I am reminded that as much as my son dreams of playing at the next level, he should be doing his summer reading in the car (to get good grades!) and we should enjoy every minute together as a family, grateful to be making memories that will last long after the last buzzer sounds.
Don't get me wrong, I am not discouraging kids to chase their dreams. I am in full support of my son going after his, but what is it going to take for parents to have some modicum of decency when they go to a high school game? Reality check. It's a game, people. Cheer. Have fun. Support your child, but please stop cheering against the other team and yelling at the ref like they have a vendetta to pay against your kid. They are just doing your job. When's the last time you walked into your office and everyone yelled, "You SUCK!" as you headed to your desk.
She is in constant flow.
She is always either creating or destroying.
Nature is never static.
Change is constant.
On a hike last week, I had an interesting epiphany as I walked through the ashes of a 35-acre burn that had happened near my house over the Memorial Day weekend. When I got within 100 yards from where the land had been charred, the smell of smoldering ashes took over and I was immediately propelled emotionally back in time. That wiff of smoke brought a beautiful wave of calm and peacefulness came over me.
And I instantaneously knew why.
As a child growing up in rural Montana, my father used to spend his free time clear-cutting our vast property. We lived in such a remote area, you had better odds of running into a into a bear or a deer, than you did another human being. This is such a stark contrast to the way my children, growing up in LA, are being raised.
I remember joining him, as he burned excess tree foliage, to make room for our horses to graze. I loved watching him work. He was so at peace working the land. For me, this stench of charred wood brings back memories of simple, careless childhood times, of closeness to Mother Nature, and to a time when the only thing I had to consider was how quickly I could get my chores done, so I could go back to building forts with my sisters and friends.
So, as I walked through these blackened grounds and memories flooded in, I realized everything has a time and a place in our lives. Just as "she" took out the grown foliage and it had all gone, Mother Nature has now cleared a path for new foliage to grow, news seeds to be sown, new opportunities to develop. And, she does this in our lives as well.
What mode are you in right now? Are you creating your new life? Or are you in destruction? Are you ready to get out of the ashes and rise again?
Perhaps you are clear-cutting some dead weight so you can make way for something new... a new relationship, a new life opportunity, a new goal.
Not all destruction is bad, in fact, many times there is a beautiful silver lining. Mother Nature is right there supporting you in helping you create who you are truly meant to become and it is through this destruction that she makes way for the new.
I love helping others create their new futures. Jump on my calendar for a complimentary 60-minute session (under Contact on my website KirstenJonesInc.com) and let's talk about what you're getting ready to create. I can't wait to hear all about it...