Raising Elite Competitors

Keys to Raising a Secure, Confident Athlete. How This Mom is Doing it Inside The Elite Mental Game w/ Basketball Mom Kym Donnelly

November 14, 2023 Coach Bre Season 2 Episode 167
Raising Elite Competitors
Keys to Raising a Secure, Confident Athlete. How This Mom is Doing it Inside The Elite Mental Game w/ Basketball Mom Kym Donnelly
Show Notes Transcript

Ever wondered how to make young athletes feel confident? Meet Kym and her daughter Lila as they share their journey to boost Lila’s confidence on and off the field. So, let’s dive right in and discover the secrets of raising confident athletes with this wonderful mom-daughter duo! It’s time to unlock their potential and watch them shine on and off the field.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Empowering Young Athletes
  • Balancing Roles as a Mom and Coach
  • Recognizing the Need for Change
  • Taking the First Steps
  • Committing to Change
  • Presenting the Opportunity to the Athlete
  • Investing in the Relationship

As a parent, coach, or athlete, their journey offers valuable insights on how you too can empower the young athletes in your life to shine brightly. Let’s get started!

Episode Highlights: 

[00:00] A mother’s experience with mental training program for high school athlete. Kym shares her experience with the elite mental game program and how it transformed Lila’s mental game, empowering her to recognize her own greatness and inner strengths.

[05:09] A high school athlete’s lack of confidence and mental strength. Lila, a high school freshman athlete, struggles with confidence and self-doubt, despite her natural talent and physical effort.

[10:18] Investing in a program to help a daughter overcome self-doubt in sports. Kym was hesitant to join the program due to considerations such as cost and effectiveness, but ultimately decided to enroll after finding the free live webinar informative and resonant with their experience.

[14:59] Empowering a young athlete through a sports psychology program. Kym highlighted how the program empowered Lila to prioritize her enjoyment of the game and find a balance between competitiveness and fun as a teammate.

[20:06] Investing in a child’s sports career and personal growth. Kym reflects on investing in their child’s mental and emotional well-being as a parent, recognizing the importance of relationships and the impact on their sport.

Next Steps:

Thank you in advance for joining us on our mission and leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.

Welcome back to the racing elite competitors podcast. I'm coach Bree, a mental performance coach for girl athletes. And I am so thrilled that you are here no matter where you are on your sports mom journey. If you have a lot of athletes playing or you have one athlete, you are at the beginning, or you have a lot of seasons under your belt, you're in the right place. If you are looking to raise a confident, mentally strong athlete, today's episode is a really special one. It's an emotional one, honestly, because I got to interview a mom who has recently gone through our mental training program called the elite mental game. And so she gets to share with you. Her experience and what her daughter experienced as she went through the program. And I think it's going to resonate with you a lot. Specifically, Kim is her name. Kim's daughter. Under a lot of pressure with the sport that she was playing. She wanted to play well, she has really big goals for herself, but it was just like, many of you have heard her mental game, her confidence, her overthinking, that was getting in the way. And so I think the stories that Kim shares around. What her daughter was experiencing, what she was experiencing as a mom of this high level athlete really wanted to play well, I think it's really going to hit home for you, just like it did for me. So I'm excited for you to dive in. One thing that I pulled out from my interview with Kim was this quote that I want to share with you. She said this. I think that's a huge thing in this program did is just empower my daughter. It's like this program shown a light on Laila's gifts and her inner strengths and abilities, and just allowed her to kind of grab a hold of these things that she already possessed and use them to empower her. And I really. I think that's powerful because you know how great your daughter could be. You just wish that she would believe herself. Like you do you see all of those good things. And the problem is that she doesn't see those things all the time. And instead she's focusing on negatives, she's focusing on the things that are hanging her up. She can't get out of her own head. And what's really cool is that cam was able to see Laila transform in front of her eyes to be able to recognize her own greatness, her own inner strengths, and allow her to grab a hold of those things and use them to her advantage. So sit back or enjoy your car ride or your dishes or whatever you're doing right now. And enjoy this conversation that I had with Kim. I know you're going to love it as much as I loved. Chatting with her.

Breanne Webinar:

We are here with Kim, and we're going to be talking about Kim's journey through the Elite Mental Game and her daughter's journey. Kim has just a wealth of knowledge around her experience and it's just easier to hear from another mom. So, into it. Will you introdu what sport your daugh she is, all those good

Kym:

de excited. First of all, th honored to have been sele we've had such a great experience that I'm just, super excited to be able to share. So yeah, I am in this chair and in this role as a mom today. have also been a coach. So, Bree really helped me identify the roles of both of those through the program and how I flow in and out of those things. So I have two teenage daughters. One is a sophomore in college and my youngest is a junior in high school. Both my girls were dual sport athletes. Both were playing basketball and soccer. One was a soccer player that played basketball and my youngest is a basketball player that also plays soccer. And my youngest really has some aspirations to play at the next level. And so we have really been. digging in, doing work in and around that discovery process for her. And I think somewhere along the way there is how and when I kind of came across this program and can certainly share a little bit more about that,

Breanne Webinar:

Brie. Yeah. Yeah. That's great. And it's good to hear kind of you've seen a lot of it from a lot of different perspectives. So you have been through. Like an entire sports career plus like all the way to the college level, your coach, you know, like you have so many different perspectives to share, which is great. So yeah, take me back to that time before joining the program and, you know, tell me about what were you experiencing? What were your kids experience? If you. Don't mind sharing that. That made you want to consider this as your next step. Yeah,

Kym:

certainly. So it's kind of an interesting question to ask Brie because now I have this lens of having gone through the program and looking back on things and saying, oh shoot wish I would have seen it in this light earlier, but I'm so grateful that I saw it in this light when I did. So I'll share a little bit about what was going on. So Lila was a freshman on the varsity basketball team. And she had been around the program for a number of years because her sister was older and also played on the program, so Lila was coming in as a freshman with a lot of expectations expectations from that coach that was coaching at that high school level because he had seen her play. He knew who she was. She had gone to his camps. So Lila had a lot of expectations, her own, as well as those all around her coming into high school. So her freshman year, I think a lot of the struggles that maybe, I saw or witnessed, I kind of wrote off to her being a freshman, being young, trying to do her best, needing to acclimate needing to work under a pretty tough coach, right? And just some of the growing pains along With transitioning to something like that. But it was really her sophomore year. So last year where I started to see things show up often on the court a little bit more, that kind of just had my mom radar kick in a little bit more, maybe then like my sports mom radar, right? So just being her mom, I was curious. So on the court that translated to me seeing things in her game, like. pauses. So she would get the ball and would pause. She wasn't trusting her instincts and her decision making like she had in the past I knew she was overthinking. She was not taking open shots, maybe that she had previously been taking, or she would get the ball and be immediately looking to pass the ball back out to somebody else. Okay. So I just saw. little things on the court in her game that had me kind of saying, hmm, I wonder why she didn't do this, or she didn't trust that, or things like that. I also saw her in her behavior on the court when she would make a mistake, she would get even in her body language, she would get upset with herself and like you could see that. If she'd miss a layup, something that would be considered basketball terms, something easy, right? A free throw, you know, we're missing the easy things and we're getting upset and she was having a hard time. Shaking that off free, right? Like getting back into the game and not letting that impact the next thing. She was having a hard time coming back from her mistakes on the court. So that was happening. And then, you know, off the court, just, it's a tough time as a teenage girl. I going through through all kinds of things. Oh my goodness. We're struggling to find our way at that point. Her older sister had graduated. So now she's kind of out there. on her own. And again, I think it all just always kept boiling down to me. Like she just didn't seem confident and secure in who she was. She was just seemed a little lost. That's kind of how it was being presented to me. But then we started to hear feedback from coaches that kind of said, Lila, we believe so much in you. You just need to go out there and just be confident. So we started to hear that in feedback from coaches and developer, like so many different people were saying that to her and it had me engaging in a conversation with Lila about that piece. And I'll start to get emotional talk during these conversations, but there was a very big moment for us in trying to work through this with her where she sat in front of me and she was teary eyed and she was just like, mom, don't they know that I want to be confident? Don't they know that I, I don't want to feel like this. I don't want this to be my story. I don't want this to be my scenario. And if I could fix it for myself, I would have already done that work. I don't want to operate from this space. Right. So, oh my gosh, Mama Bear tugs, right, at your heart. So just like with anything, I kind of dug in and was just like, how can I help her? Right. I just went on a kind of a hunt to find things that could really help her. And this conversation started out of the game. So help her in the game and really break through the discovery and completion of the program. It was really just so much more than the game, so much

Breanne Webinar:

more. Yeah. Oh, thank you for sharing that. I mean, so many things stood out, but I think this is a common experience for so many moms and athletes and you nailed it. It's like, this is not a choice that athletes are making. They're not like, Oh, I'm just choosing to not be confident right now. Or I'm just choosing to beat myself up after mistakes. If it was that easy to just get out of my own head, I would do it, you know? and she said that too. And these, Confidence is a skill. Mental strength is a skill that can be developed. So yeah. And you're there and I, and being a freshman on varsity, like, so she's crushing it. Like she has the talent and the skill. And with that also comes a lot of pressure and expectations. There's a lot that goes into that. So it's not like. you know, she wasn't putting in the physical work and she's there physically. So yeah, you're at this place. Somehow we came into your world. Tell me about the next steps after that and your decision to jump

Kym:

in. Yeah. So I think we started to look for solutions and to be honest, we're giving things a try. Right. So our first. and transparently sharing Lila work with a sports p one on one. So those sess and getting her to start as well as having the con feelings like what words with this mind, this mind mouth connection. So she learned a lot of things in those sessions. But what I found, first of all, is they're expensive. And while she was learning, she was still missing. tools and strategies and things that she could apply herself outside of the conversation that was pulling inside of those sessions. So Brie, I honestly don't know what it was. I think it was probably an advertisement, but because I had been in the Base of looking and really searching for something. I found you and your program and our first steps through this was really you were advertising for your free live webinar. I got on the webinar and I sat there and just did this, like every single thing you were sharing from a mom's perspective as well as from the daughter's perspective was resonating with me and our experience at that time. So then we, you know I just I wouldn't say I jumped at it. We did have some considerations and some hesitations, and I'm happy to share those because I'm sure a lot of moms are sitting where I was then. But ultimately made the decision to come in and come through. Would it be helpful for me to share kind of. What we were thinking about. Oh,

Breanne Webinar:

yeah. I think, yeah, absolutely.

Kym:

Because I

Breanne Webinar:

remember right, like, they are literally right in

Kym:

the place where you were, right? Right.

Breanne Webinar:

What were the things that you were wondering? What were kind of hurdles that you wanted? to make sure that you cross before you joined. Yeah. Yeah.

Kym:

So as you can imagine in that confident, that teary eyed conversation with Lila, she was thirsty for something to help her, right? So she was willing to do the work. So we had to have a conversation about that, right? This is a, this is an investment. It's an investment of time and energy. And money, right? So we're gonna have an open and honest conversation about that upfront. Relative to what it was gonna take and what it was gonna take on both of our parts and how we could kind of hold. One another accountable. I'll kind of come back to the financial piece, but, Mm-Hmm. for Lila and I, it was really more of a conversation about her buying into what the program, what I felt the program could deliver for her, how it kind of worked, right. What those commitments were like. We kind of looked at her schedule and said, could we commit to these 20 to 30 minutes a week over the period of time? And. Upfront, we felt good. It's almost like I made her sign a verbal contract as a mom. Like, I'm going to do this. You're going to do this too, though. So we kind of made that promise to one another.

Breanne Webinar:

Yeah. Oh, that's great. Okay. So how did you present it to her? I mean, that's something that some moms are wondering too. Like, how do I present this to my daughter? It sounds like Lila, you know, was open to this and was like, actually aware that this would help her. But so how did you present it to her in a way that made her. You know, kinda wanna go on board or even just be open to the idea. Yeah, let's start there If

Kym:

there's Yeah. Yeah. Again, I think I don't know. I guess it also depends on the mom dog relationship, right? Like, I'm pretty invested in what she's doing in her sport the whole time, so it wasn't like a strange thing for me to broach a conversation with her. Mm-Hmm. about this. What, what. was more for me relative to Lila's characteristics and behaviors was, was she going to commit and carve out the time and prioritize this work just like she would her physical training? So we did have a lot of conversations brie about that. Like, look, you're going into the gym every day for three hours. Like, you've got to match, you've got to match this side of the work and the effort with that side of the work and the effort. And it was really getting commitment to, to just trying. I don't know. I didn't struggle here with positioning this with Lila because like I said, she was, I wouldn't say desperation, but she was very eager to just find something that she could try that could work. Yeah,

Breanne Webinar:

that's great. Okay, let's talk about, the time commitment then. So. The way that the elite mental game is laid out is we recommend 15 to 30 minutes a week for athletes to carve out to do the work. A lot of them are moving through a lot faster because you know, the trainings are pretty short and they're kind of knocking them out and at that pace they would complete it in about a couple of months. But I mean, time is still time. You know, even when it's like, oh, 20 to 30 minutes to an athlete, sometimes it's like, well, I have this and I have that. So how did you two find the time to make this work?

Kym:

Yeah. Yeah. Great question. And everybody's busy, right? It's so busy. Time is one of our most valuable assets and resources. So for us, a couple of things we made this agreement, we had committed to the time, but we also allowed ourselves some grace through the process, right? Like if our windows. Slipped, then they were slipping. We would just make sure that we talked about that. But every week we kind of looked down at our plans and said, here's what the schedules are, personally, professionally, all the things, and just carved out time. Some of those weeks, Brie, we would do the sessions together, meaning she would do her module in her portal while I did my module in my portal, and then we would have some conversations on the back half of that shared time that we carved out. Sometimes that meant that Lila had a different time of that week that she was going through her module than what I was going through. But we always made sure to kind of come back and tie in conversation. But one of the things that I learned through the program as a mom was I needed to do a lot more listening and a lot less lecturing. So a lot of that through the 12 weeks, it became more of Lila coming to me. Versus me, like in the beginning, it was me holding her accountable and towards the end of the program. It was more Lila coming to me like, Hey, mom, let's do this. So she really dug in as she found herself going through the content and kind of thriving with some of the tools and the materials that you were sharing and teaching about.

Breanne Webinar:

So, yeah. Oh, that's great. And even since you two have been through, we've created even more kind of touch points and conversation starters and facilitation throughout. So yeah, it's pretty special when athletes and parents go through in that way where they're, they are connecting. I mean, that's how it's designed for sometimes our older, like our college athletes or older high school, they're going through it more independently, but. And then just like texting their parent about like, you know,

Kym:

but it's very flexible and the fact that you can do it through the app, you know, you can do it on the go, you can do it in pockets of time. Like we have the time. The question is more will you prioritize making the time and protecting it?

Breanne Webinar:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Let's try. No, I mean, you're right. This conversation is fine, but we actually, we only have like 10 more minutes or so, but I do want to know you know, as Lila started going through the program, let's talk first, what you noticed in her, what were some of the things that were standing out as like, wow. Okay. This is a change where she's learning this now. Like what, what did you start to see?

Kym:

Yeah. So those dropping head moments on the court started to come back to me seeing her smiling on the court. court. Her dad and I always joke like if she's out there and she's like clapping it up and things, we know she's in her flow space, her really good space. So we got to see a lot more of those moments start to happen out on the court. Even after the games coming out of locker rooms, heads weren't dropped. So lots of You know, lots of physical body language started to change and then energy follows when the physical body language changes. So she started to really enjoy a lot of the game again, Brie. And it's interesting watching her still through this. Lila's main thing. is to keep this sport something she enjoys. It's been a journey, and there's been parts in her journey where it felt more like a chore than a treasure. So, it's like, for her, it is all about bringing the things around her, putting the things in place that allow her to enjoy her Look, I'll start to get teary eyed right now. I'm gonna start to allow her to enjoy the game that she fell in love with as a little Kid on a court. I'll never forget that moment. So really to just see her having fun again is how it's kind of translated. And that's not easy for her to prioritize for herself as a teammate Because there's a lot of competitiveness on this team and drive on this team and performance and expectation on this team. So for her to find that balance within herself so she can do both is, challenging for her. So. It's just been really amazing to watch her take the lead on that. I think that's what a huge thing this program did is just empowered her. It's like this program shone a light on Lila's gifts and her inner strengths and abilities and just allowed her to grab a hold of all the things that she already possessed and use them to empower her. Yeah, I can't say enough good things and I could ramble on for days about all this.

Breanne Webinar:

Oh, I know. I get like emotion whenever I do an interview like this. I'm like, this is because it's just like, it's so powerful. And I mean, you can't put a price on that. And I mean, I do want to you mentioned something about price and investment. So Do you have anything to share about that? Like the investment

Kym:

of it? I mean, I do. Because I hear it too, right? I'm sharing about this opportunity in my communities because it's had such an impact. And I just really want to serve others with just exposing them to additional opportunities to just like I was begging for this. I want to be somebody who could share this with other people. So I do hear that. And I found it very interesting because my experience going through this was like, yeah. Okay, I had to really check myself because investing in like the physical part of their game. It seemed like we never blinked Oh, we need to buy hotel rooms for that. Oh, we have to buy airplane tickets Oh, we need new cleats new backs new balls new uniforms. Okay. Sure. We never had a problem saying yes To the physical side of all of the things that she was doing. Why were we hesitating? on this Mental side. I'm one of these people that stinks, like relationships are, life's like real currency, okay? And the relationship between a parent and a child is one of our most important relationships. Mm-Hmm. Relationships take investment, right? Time, energy. They also take money. It's like, why? Would I not invest in this time with her? It was this experience with her. Yes, it was going to help her sport, but it was more about going through something like this together. And it was really more of an investment in the relationship. And when I thought about it that way, Everything kind of changed and you know, I would encourage everyone who's listening to just you know When was the last time you invested in you instead of just on you? like bet on her you're here already like you already believe she can do it You already know she has what she needs inside her. It's just can we get it to come out bet on her bet on you that you'll put the time in and that you'll grow and you'll lead her through this and the moms you will change going through this program not just as a sports mom, but as a mom understanding The light, the influence you have on your daughter's life, choices, behaviors, et cetera. We all always want to do the right thing, but Brie does a great job in the program, like shedding light on some of those key things that we are doing, saying, exampling. I just, I think it's like... Bet on yourselves put in the work. It's work just like on the physical side monday through friday practices several hours a week Like put it in the work do the time I swear to god you will not regret this investment in Who? You are who she is and who you become outside of the program of the sport. Having gone through this it's just It's worth it. Yeah.

Breanne Webinar:

Oh, Kim, I couldn't have said that better myself. So I really appreciate you sharing your perspective and your experience. And I have no doubt that this is helpful for moms who are listening. So thank

Kym:

you. I'm happy to share. I'm happy to share. Thank you. And your behind the scenes partners and team for bringing light to this very important subject. I'm just so passionate about it. And So grateful to have found it. So,

Breanne Webinar:

oh, Kim, this is great. Thank you again. I so appreciate you sharing your experience. I mean, it's really, really touching that Happy to do

Kym:

it. Happy to do it. Happy to do it. Good. And I'm wishing everyone luck. Just do it. You won't regret it.