Raising Elite Competitors

How To Know if Mental Training is Worth The Investment - 3 Questions To Ask Yourself

December 19, 2023 Coach Bre Season 2 Episode 173
Raising Elite Competitors
How To Know if Mental Training is Worth The Investment - 3 Questions To Ask Yourself
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered how crucial mental training is for young athletes? Join me in today’s episode as we explore the game-changing world of mental training in sports.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The significance of mental training in your child’s sports journey.
  • Finding the right balance between physical and mental training.
  • The valuable life lessons that sports can instill in your young athlete.
  • Bonus questions: Envisioning your child’s future and weighing the cost of inaction.

Ready to unlock the secrets to your child’s sports success? Tune in to the full podcast episode for a deep dive into these essential insights and more!

Episode Highlights: 

[00:00] Investing in mental training for athletes. Discover the importance of mental training for athletes and parents, with a highlight on the benefits of my signature program for girls, the Elite Mental Game.

[01:56] Why investing in mental training is worth the investment of time, money, and energy for long-term benefits.

[05:32] Mental training in youth sports. Discover the three key questions parents should ask themselves.

[10:06] Mental training for athletes and its impact on performance and personal growth. The importance of mental training for athletes.

[14:34] Learn more about the importance of developing skills to navigate wins and losses, and to be resilient in the face of challenges. How investing in mental skills training for your daughter can help her navigate the ups and downs of her sport and life, and set her up for success.

[19:30] Mental training for athletes and its impact on performance. Learn more about my personal story – how I struggle with mental training in sports and the impact it had on my athletic performance and relationship with my mother.

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 raising elite competitors podcast. I'm coach Bree, a mental performance coach for athletes. And I'm so happy that you are here. Whether you are a sports mom who is just getting going on this journey with your athlete, or you have a lot of seasons under your belt, and you're very experienced and seasoned. This is the place for you to know exactly how to develop confidence and mental strength in your athlete. And also so that you can enjoy this sports journey along the way. Today's episode is all about asking yourself. Is mental training worth the investment. So what I mean by this is maybe you're at this point where you're noticing. And realizing that the mental side of the game is super important. If you're here, if you're listening to this, then I am guessing that you have come to that conclusion. At some point, you've realized what many of the best athletes have realized. Many of the best coaches have realized that it's not just about physical skill, that how athletes navigate their sport largely is dependent on how they think and the skills and the strategies that they have to navigate. Being an athlete, pressure, nerves, comparison, mistakes, all of the things that athletes deal with, they're actually not just born with the skills to handle those things. And most coaches don't know how to teach it. And so maybe you're at this place where you're thinking. You know, could my athlete benefit from mental training? I believe she can. However, BB it's an investment of time, money, resources. Is it worth that investment? I'm just going to ask you a few questions to help you. I'm going to put back on you really to help guide your. Answer to those. Now, before we dive into this and kind of help you think through that, I do want to give a shout out to a mom in our community. So Laura is going through the elite mental game. This is our signature mental training program for a girl athletes, but also for their parents. So half of our program is for athletes to develop the mental side of the game. And then the other half is for parents to help know how to navigate being a sports parent, how to best support their athletes. And this is what Laura texted the other day, or she actually posted this in our group. She said a wind tonight. Even though they lost, my daughter had a soccer game, they lost two and O but the team played really well. Shots didn't go through. And the other team got two lucky breaks. If you know soccer, sometimes that just happens. My daughter played well, and of course did not play perfectly her team lost, but she came off the field in a positive mood. She said, I know he lost, but I did my best and I'm not mad about it. And we could tell during the game, she didn't let those first few bad passes or bad touches derail her, her shoulders didn't slump. She didn't lose the sparkle in her eyes. She stood tall, had high smiling, laughing, hustling the whole game. Even after a turnover, it was so much fun for all of us. I know it was one game, but it was some of our old daughter back and it was wonderful. Thank you. This is really amazing. This gave me goosebumps as I was reading, because honestly, to be able to see your athlete out there, even when things aren't going her way and let's be honest, sports, do not go your athletes way. A lot of the time. That's in fact, one of the reasons why we actually have our kids in sports so that they can face challenges. But here's the thing is maybe things don't go their way and then your athlete crumbles out there. Right? She's like spiraling. She is beating herself up. She's has her head down shoulders, humped or slumped, and you're like, gosh, come on, stop. You're you're ruining all the other opportunities that are coming down the road. And to hear Laura say that her daughter was able to turn this around, even though there were turnovers, even though there were some lucky breaks, even though shots didn't go on, which happened. All the time she was able to, you let her emotions. She was able to continue to work hard hustle, give it her best and to see her come off the field with this. Positivity that, Hey, yeah, we didn't win it. Wasn't the outcome I wanted, but I did my best and that's all I can do onto the next one. I mean, how cool is that? So keep going Or I'm so happy for you and for your athlete. All right, we're going to get into his head. Enough. Mental training is worth the investment. Three questions to ask yourself. Let's talk about it. So when I think about the word investment, I think of something that is going to give me a return. For years and years to come. And I think of it as something that will leverage some of the most important parts of my life and who I want to become. So we can think of investment as time as money as resources, focus, energy. All with this assumption that what we invest in now is something that we're going to reap the benefits of long term. So you have examples of investments that you make in your everyday life. So do I, I invest my time and my money into healthy food and also into paying for gym memberships because my physical health. Matters a lot to me. So I invest that time, that energy, that focus, that, that time getting up at five 30 in the morning when it's dark so that I can move my body, knowing that this is going to pay off for me. For years and years so that I can enjoy my life and enjoy my family for for decades. I invest my time and my money and energy into therapy because I know my mental health matters to me. And it also impacts every single person around me. But yes, I have to spend money on that. And yes, I have to spend time doing that. I invest my focus in my kids because their development and their memories matter to me. I invest in things for my kids, because I know that it's going to help the person that they're going to become. And I feel responsibility to provide them with those opportunities. And anything that matters to us is going to be an investment in some way, right? In some capacity it's going, it's going to require us to invest if it matters to us. And. This whole idea of mental training is no different. When we talk about mental training, obviously we are best known. At the end, the competitor for our metal training program called. Elite mental game. And this is an investment of time of money, of energy, of resources. And so is your daughter sport? Like the sport that she chooses to play is all of those things as well. So you have already invested. A lot of time, money, energy, resources, focus. Saturdays and Sundays to her sport because she loves it. You see it as important to her development or her health. And so it's worth it. It's worth investing. And I know sometimes we think, well, it really isn't really worth it to give up all these Saturdays. Yes. Okay. Yeah. I know sometimes we question that but long term. Right. Your daughter sport is an investment that is going to pay off for her. And for you. And I'm here to tell you that investing in your daughter's mental side of the sport is one of the most important investments that you can make in her. And I am not just talking about what you're going to see in your athletes sport. It goes well beyond that. And we're going to talk about why that's such a great benefit of investing in this side of her as a human, really. So I'm going to ask you three questions to kind of help guide you around this idea of, you know, how to know if it's worth it or not. So here's the first question. How much of your daughter's sport is mental? I ask athletes this a lot. I just want you to consider it for yourself. You know, if you were to put a number on it in scale, you know, 0% to a hundred percent. How much of it do you think is mental. I'll tell you what athletes tell me that, but give me a lot of answers, but anywhere from like 70, 80, 90, a hundred, some say a hundred percent mental. So your athlete is likely already identifying for herself that the majority of her sport is mental. And so when they say, you know, the mental side, they're saying like, you know, I get nervous before a game and that impacts how I play or when I'm feeling really on I play well. And so they're recognizing this connection between their mind and their body. And so I'll ask you, I mean, how much of it is mental. From your perspective, likely it's anywhere from 50% or more. Okay. Because you can have, your athlete can have all the talent in the world. If she does not believe in herself, if she doesn't know how to perform when the pressure is on, if she makes a mistake and then doesn't play as well afterwards. She really will not be able to utilize the talent that she has to utilize all the physical training that she's putting into her sport. And so my second question around that is what opportunities are you giving her right now to invest in the mental side of the sport, knowing that it plays a huge role in how she shows up. And here's the other thing, as I already said, you're investing a lot of time, money, effort, energy into your daughter's sport, the teams, the equipment, the training, the lessons, all of the things. And here's the thing your daughter. Needs three things in order to be great at her sport. She needs knowledge of the sport, which will come as she continues to play. She needs physical training that you're providing her with and she needs mental training, right. So differently. She can train. Three things, her body, her craft, and her mind. Those are the three things that she can train in order to be great at her sport in order to play to her potential in order to enjoy her sport in order to know how to come back from mistakes. And if any, one of these things is at a zero, meaning say, you're investing in the physical side of the sport. She is developing her knowledge of the sport, but there's no mental training in here. It's sort of like a multiplication, all three of those things multiply each other. But if any, one of those things is that a zero, the whole equation is that a zero and your athlete will never reach your potential. I've seen this countless times, I've seen. In my own life as well. Right. It's talented athlete, but you know, I can't deal with the pressure because at our, I couldn't in high school it was too much. And I'll tell a little bit of my story later in this episode, but it was, I was that classic example of how she's got all the gifts. Right. And she works really hard, but. Gosh, if she could only believe in herself like other people would, if only if she saw herself, how other people would she be so much better? Okay. And your daughter can have a lot of towns she can put in the physical work. She probably is. And it, her mental game isn't there. She will never reach her potential. At best she might get good, but she won't actually get to where she could be. And at worst she will burn out or quit. And I speak from experience here. Okay. And I'll tell you about my. My story and a little bit, like I said, because I was at that point where I was like, Hey, the best option here, because I don't know how to deal with this is to walk away from my sport. And that was a hundred percent preventable. Okay. So investing in her mental training ensures that you are actually getting a return on what you're already investing in, in her athletics and you are. Really backing up what you believe about the mental side of the game and how, you know, if 50% or more of the game is mental, you are actually giving her opportunities to develop that part of her game. And I'll tell you right now, Coaches do not know how to teach this side of the game. Most coaches, I should put an asterisk there. Okay. I've been coaching. For the head volleyball coach for 12 years when I first started coaching, I absolutely, I did not know how to teach the mental side of the sport. I hardly knew how to teach the physical side. Right. And so coaches are not given education in this area. I had to go, I was five years into my coaching career before I decided like, Hey, I gotta do something about this because my athletes are talented. I could teach them volleyball all day long, but if they don't believe in themselves and they don't know how to make their serve on game point, because they're so nervous. Then we're not going to get very far. And so I invested my own time. My own money, my own resources to be certified as a mental performance coach so that I could teach my athletes these skills. Most coaches don't do that. So if you are relying on your athlete's coach to teach her this, then you are going to be disappointed and do not rely on that person to provide such an important part of her game. All right. Here's another question I want you to ask her. Or ask yourself rather, what questions are you hoping your athlete is learning from her sport? What lessons are you hoping will transcend the court or the field or the mat or the pool or wherever she competes, because really this is more than her sport. And you know that, Hey, if you're here, you likely know that it's not just about kicking the ball, shooting the ball, passing the ball. This is about her developing as a person through the challenges and the opportunities that her sports provide her. You are wanting her to develop these skills of standing up for herself, advocating how to handle challenging coaches or teammates that aren't ideal. You know how to come back from disappointments, how to navigate pressure nerves, like all of these things that she's going to face as an athlete, if she's not already facing them. Right now. And it's the same thing with mental training skills. And here's the really cool things, though. There are some givens when athletes are training the mental side of the game, this is what we see all the time inside the elite mental game. There are some things that we just expect to happen, right? Her play will start improving. She can come back from mistakes. In the first week inside our program, she learned something called the snapback routine. And this is a tool that she uses to come back from the steaks or whenever she gets kind of pushed out of the zone. So immediately she's learning like a very useful tool that they're using. You know, and athletes are saying, they're taking more risks. They're not hesitating as much. They become able to perform under pressure. And we're like, yeah, this is awesome. Like obviously we, that never gets old. However, we expect that that is expected. We actually have a guarantee on our program because of this. But what's even more amazing. Are these off the court or the field winds that she experiences. When moms and dads email us in Texas things like, wow, she's actually rising above this teammate drama that's happening. She's not getting sucked into it. She's choosing better, more supportive friendships. She's making better choices. She's applying these pre-performance strategies to tests. You know, she used to get tested anxiety, and now she's able to go in with clear mind and actually do her best on tests without getting super anxious. She's speaking up, she's taking risks, she's trusting herself and having the confidence to actually follow through on the things that she wants. This increased confidence is something that they see outside of the sport. And this is really what's so inspiring is when we start to consider the long game implications. Like I said, this investment in the mental side now is paying off dividends for her development as a person. Outside of her sport and for years, and years and years to come. And so that is such a foundational question to ask yourself as well. What are you wanting your athlete to learn from her sport? What are these lessons that you're hoping will transcend the field in the court? And here's the thing she's actually not learning those lessons. If she doesn't know how to navigate those challenges that come up. So you're wanting her to be resilient. You're wanting her to be mentally tough. You're wanting her to be confident and you're hoping her spirit will just magically teach her those things. Here's her sport will actually. Cut her confidence. Her sport will actually cause her to not be resilient if she doesn't know how to navigate those challenges that come up. If when she loses a game, she takes on that as her identity. You know, I know that sounds maybe extreme, but this is what happens all the time. Especially with our athletes that are perfectionists, they lose a game and they tie that to their self worth. And then they're wearing that on themselves for days and days thinking that they're not good enough and that nothing's ever good enough. And that's the thing. They will pick up these messages about themselves. They're forming their beliefs about themselves through these experiences. And so they do need, our athletes do need to have skills to navigate these things to productively process. Their wins and their losses to know how to be resilient. When a challenge comes up, know how to reframe that challenge is something that is happening. For them not to them. And those things, like I said, often aren't taught by the people that we think should be teaching them like their coaches. And so that's why we need to provide them with the opportunities to develop these skills. So that is another question I want you to consider. I've just got a couple more. Now here's another question. Where do you hope that she will be in the future? Now that's similar to the question that I just asked around. You know, what. What lessons are you hoping that she's going to learn, but I want you to think about your athlete. You know, even a year, two years, 5, 10, 15. You know, even 30 years from now and think about this, this person that you are developing or, Hey, that's the person that you are raising because the person that she becomes is being shaped right now, like a seed that is being watered in order to bloom later. And you obviously are teaching her a lot of. Life lessons, life skills. Okay. And here's the other thing. I know that as a parent myself, I can be teaching. All sorts of life lessons to my kids or things that I have, you know, the stories that are going to resonate with them. And I'm going to have like the wisdom and all these things, and I'm a mental performance coach. So they sh they should, their mental game should be spot on. Let me tell you right now when I am teaching them, those things. They are not as well received. As when another coach is also teaching those things. Yes, I do make a difference and you make a difference as well. So don't stop shaping that environment for your athlete. But how many of you are like me? And you'll hear your athlete come home. They'll say something like, Hey coach, Laura says that. We should be eating. You know, carbs and protein before a match. So let's make sure that we eat that. And I'm like, I'm trying to tell you that for like months. Okay. And it's just received differently. And so I don't think that we can ever have enough people in our athletes corner reiterating those same messages and telling our athletes, these messages in different ways that are going to resonate differently. And you will never, ever regret investing in your daughter's confidence. In her mindset. In giving her the skills to navigate the ups and downs of her sport and in life right now in this moment. Because it's not an, if she will face this appointment, failure, pressure, expectations, all the other givens of her sport. It's a, when it's happening, if it's not already, if you're not already aware it's coming. And so when those things happen, will your daughter be prepared, prepare for them. Because once she's in those moments, it's too late. These skills need to be front-loaded in order to actually set your daughter. Up for success. Yes. If your daughter is struggling right now and you're like, oh man, she is not performing to, you know, how she could be. And she's really struggling with self-confidence. Of course mental skills are absolutely useful in those moments. They also can be front loaded so that your athlete can feel confident knowing that she already has the skills to navigate what's coming at her. Okay, one last question I want you to consider is this, what is the cost of your daughter staying exactly where she is right now? There is a cost to everything. Right. There's a co the cost of change. The cost of saying the same. And I want you to fast forward, fast forward, a few weeks, fast forward a month, two months past this season, maybe next season. Will you be okay. And are you okay? Is she okay saying exactly where she is right now? Or will you have wished that you invested now in giving her the skills to navigate the pressures of her sport? Some of you are counting on one hand, how many seasons do you have left with your athlete? And so it's less of this, like who, I wonder if she'll just figure out how to turn it around. I wonder if once she gets on that team, then she'll be more confident or maybe this coach will teach it. No stop putting that responsibility on someone else that you don't know. They are qualified to be able to teach that most, like I said are not most don't most see the, the value and they expect it from your athlete, but they don't know how to teach it. Right. Do not wish and hope and wait and see if she is going to be up against some challenges. You already are seeing it likely in her teammates as well. And so also what is the cost of never allowing her to leave this place where she is right now? I've never realizing what she's capable of for actually going after what she wants. So you guys, if you're going to consider the cost. Don't only consider the cost of going for it. But what it will cost you if you never do. What it will cost her if you never give her the opportunity. And really that was my story. Some of, you know, my story, right. I was a talented athlete. Played volleyball was kinda my main sport in high school. And I got to the point where my senior year I was getting recruited and it was kind of this, like, you know, where she going to go play? You know, I had a lot of pressure on me, a lot of pressure from the team too. I perform well all the time that I wasn't handling very well on the inside. Because I felt like everything was on my shoulders. When I made a mistake, I felt like, you know, the whole world was crumbling because it was a reflection of who I was as a person. I was letting everybody down. And I had this just uneasy, sick to my stomach feeling whenever I thought about going on to play at the next level, because I didn't want to disappoint people. I didn't want to get to that next level and then have people be like, oh, dang, she wasn't as good as we thought she was. I had all these limiting beliefs going on in my head. On the outside, you would look, it looks like I was a pretty confident athlete on the inside. He was struggling with a lot of these things. I would tell my mom some of the stuff, but she had no idea how to help me. She would say things like, Hey, just be confident. Like you are good. You know, all these things. And we've spoken about this and years and years later, And she was like, I just did not know how to support you because I saw your talent. I saw you were so good. I just did not know how to help develop a confidence in you. And so I walked away from my sport. After my senior season, I turned down all the offers I was done now, fast forward a little bit. I actually did get the opportunity to play in college at a university division two university. I reached out to the coach because they were an amazing volleyball team that freshman year that I went, I went to all their games and made it to the national championship. And I was like, oh, it's not volleyball. That I, that I don't like, it's this feeling of pressure that I don't know how to handle. I love volleyball. I don't know how to deal with this mental stuff. So I went out on the lamb. I, I reached out to her I found long story short. She offered me a walk-on spot, played four years under this coach and this amazing program, 70 sport psychology, and actually realized the connection between my mind, my beliefs and how I could actually shift my self talk and my beliefs about myself and that impacted how I played. How I can manage my nerves, my anxiety, how I could come back from mistakes. So these were all actually skills that I could learn and that every athlete faced them. I wasn't alone. And so it all came together for me. I was able to actually realize the impacts of first not having those skills. When I was in high school, I was struggling on the inside. My mom didn't know how to support me. I wish I would have had a program that actually taught me the skills when I was in middle school or in high school that I didn't have to wait until I was 22 years old. Like most athletes don't play at that level. And that's when I learned those skills. But here's the thing they're accessible to your athlete now as a middle schooler, as a high schooler. That's what I wish I would have had. And I wish my mom would've had the skills to be able to help me through that. And again, if we're talking to the elite mental game, which is our signature mental training program, that's why we get both those things. Right. You get all the support you need. Your athlete learns how to develop her skills. This is the program that I wish I would have had. And my mom. Also, I wish she would have had this as well. So that is my story. That's not, I know that's not everyone's story, but I know the implications. I know the cost, it, it, it was to me and also to my mom for. Not investing in this side of the game when I really truly needed it. And so how different it would have been? Yes. My story had a happy ending and, you know, And now I get to bring this gift to so many athletes, but for so many athletes, they are stuck in this place feeling like they're the only ones. And so that's what I want you to consider when you are talking to your partner or you're talking to yourself or to your athlete about this whole idea of mental training and what this means. And it's not just for athletes who. Are quote unquote struggling. No, the best athletes in the world, train them up inside of their game. The best athletes in the world have a competitive advantage because they know how to deal with pressure. They know how to come back from mistakes. Their confidence is rooted in themselves and not external things. And like I said, these are skills that can be taught early, early, early. Now, if that does interest you, we do have a free training for sports moms at train her game. Dot com. This is where we teach you exactly how to strengthen your athlete. Daughter's mental game. We also talk about the elite mental game, which is our mental training program. So check that out. That will give you a good introductory to our method and how we teach mental training. That's at train her game.com. All right, moms. I hope this was helpful. I am coach Bree and I will see you in the next episode of the raising elite competitors podcast.