Raising Elite Competitors

How to Give Your Athlete a Competitive Advantage (In Her Sport & Life!)

December 26, 2023 Coach Bre Season 2 Episode 174
Raising Elite Competitors
How to Give Your Athlete a Competitive Advantage (In Her Sport & Life!)
Show Notes Transcript

Ever wondered how to give your young athlete a competitive edge in their sport and life?

In This Episode:

  • Discover the keys to equipping your daughter with confidence and mental strength.
  • Learn why physical training alone won’t cut it.
  •  Understand the importance of mental training and its impact.
  • Hear real stories of athletes benefiting from mental training.
  •  Find out how parents play a crucial role in their athlete’s success.

Ready to empower your athlete and unlock their full potential? Tune in to the full podcast episode!

Listen to the full episode [insert podcast link]

 Episode Highlights: 

[00:00] Giving young athletes a mental edge in sports. Discover tips for equipping girl athletes with confidence and a competitive advantage in sports and life.

[03:57] Mental training for athletes. Discover the importance of mental training for athletes.

[08:15] Mental training for athletes to overcome mistakes quickly. The importance of athletes being able to quickly recover from mistakes in their sport, with some sports requiring a quicker recovery time than others.

[12:16] The impact of mental training on a 12-year-old athlete’s performance and personal growth.

[15:48] Developing mental strength and confidence in young female athletes. The importance of equipping girls with confidence skills to navigate life and sports, citing the value of peace of mind and self-advocacy.

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 a girl athletes. And I am so thrilled that you're here. Now, whether you are a sports mom who is just getting going on this journey with your athlete, maybe you're just starting the whole sports thing, or maybe you're a mom that has a lot of seasons under her belt. You have multiple athletes playing lots of sports. You are seasoned either way. This podcast is for you. If you are looking to raise a confident and mentally strong girl athlete. So. Let's get into it. Today's episode is about how to give that girl athlete a competitive advantage in her sport and in life. And I'm talking about this because I talk to a lot of moms talked to a lot of athletes and a lot of times this is what I'm hearing. She is so great at her sport, she's super talented. She can crush a ball and practice, but there is just something that is causing her to hold back a little bit in a competition. Or if only she believed in herself and sock herself, has I saw her as her coaches soccer, all her coaches are saying. That you know, she is a great athlete. She just gets in her head or she needs to be more confident and you're like, okay, how do we do that? So we're going to talk about how you can actually equip your daughter to not only be confident, mentally strong, but give her a competitive advantage in her sport, potentially over athletes who are not doing what I'm about to lay out in this episode. Now, before I do get into it, I have a favor to ask of you. If you listen to this podcast and you enjoy it, and it is helpful for you in any way, It would be so helpful to us. If you took just a minute to rate and review the podcast. And or share with another sports parent, just send them the link and say, Hey, this was a great episode that you'd want to listen to it. That helps us a lot. And it also helps you so that we can get more ears on this podcast. And also we can invite more guests that are going to help you on your sports journey. So if you have a moment to do any of those sames, we would greatly appreciate it. All right, let's get into it today. Giving your athlete a competitive advantage. So let's talk about what I mean by competitive advantage. You likely have something that popped up into your head. Maybe it's like, she's got the edge, you know, she's able to do some things that some athletes aren't, and that honestly is what I'm talking about. So she's able to perform consistently perform to her potential. And she does have that edge. And especially if you have athletes that are growing in their sport and maybe they are playing at a higher level right now. And honestly, the older that your athlete gets, the more levels that she climbs, the higher team she gets on. The more similarities you're going to start to see in your athletes, talent and her skill as other people on her team. Okay. What I mean by that is at the beginning, you know, we do see a very, I've been a coach for 12 years, so I, you know, you see kind of a very upscale level when you start to coach athletes either, you know, when they're coming in as eighth graders, freshmen, And comparing that to when they are older and you know, they're juniors and seniors, or they're playing on top teams, even if you have a young athlete, but she's playing at a competitive level, the skill level is more similar, right? There are variations, but what separates athletes at that level, as they continue to grow and climb is not necessarily their skill. It's their ability to be able to utilize their skill in pressure moments is their ability to come back from mistakes instead of crumble, after a mistake is their ability to show up like that confident athlete that they do in practice in a match. So that really is what that edge is, you know, being mentally ready to perform, being able to be adaptable to whatever happens in a competition and not be the athlete that gets thrown off by. A bad call from a ref or just kind of things, not going their way at the beginning of the match. And so we're all in it looking for this way that we can give our athletes a competitive advantage in this sense that they are confident. They are mentally strong, they can handle anything that comes their way. And typically what I see and likely maybe what you've done as well is. We immediately go to the physical training because it makes the most sense, right? It's like, well, she just needs to have more reps. And in her sport, maybe we'll get her a personal trainer. We just need to spend more time in the gym. And absolutely the best athletes are putting in the reps. They're practicing the show up to practice. They're practicing hard. And intentionally, they're also potentially getting some reps outside of practice and really honing in on certain parts of their game. And. Yes, those things, like I said can be helpful, but that's whatever you have. Wait, does, every athlete that does want to improve is doing those things. And here's what, the thing that more reps or her personal trainer won't necessarily be able to do. More reps won't actually help her with the pressure of her sport. It actually doesn't teach her the skill of performing when the stakes are high, when it is a match that matters when it is game point. When it is those times where it's like, Hey, if at any time you need to really bring it, it's now. And more reps actually won't help her be able to navigate those situations. Yes, athletes do get more confidence when they get more competent in their sport, but that feeling of pressure actually doesn't come and tell she's in those. Those moments. More reps also, won't give her the skill to come back from mistakes, faster, more reps. Won't do that. I can prepare her, maybe reduce the chance of her making a lot more mistakes. Out there, but your athlete is going to make mistakes. It's literally part of the game. It's not the mistake that matters. It's how she comes back from that mistake. More reps also, won't give her the skill to advocate for herself. There are so many situations where athletes need to have this ability, this skill to advocate for herself when it comes to teammate dynamics or coach dynamics and getting more reps in the gym is actually not going to give her that skill. And that skill of advocating actually gives her a competitive advantage as well. Another thing, more reps won't do is shift herself. Talk that she has those automatic negative thoughts that come into her brain and the ability to pause, recognize them and shift them more. Reps actually does not give her the skill to be able to do that. And when athletes go in thinking, I just do more reps, any more physical training, they're hoping that that will be the solution to their confidence, to their negative self-talk to their ability, to overcome pressure and come back from mistakes. When reality, those things don't give her the mental training skills that they need. They feel that piece of the physical training, but if you've been a listener for a while, you know, the athletes need three things in order to reach their potential. They need physical training. Absolutely. A hundred percent. You can knock it around that they need knowledge of the sport, which comes as they continue to play. So kind of the tactics and the strategies associated with their sport. And they need mental training. Mental training is this place where their beliefs about themselves are held their confidence, those skills to navigate the normal parts of being an athlete. And here's the deal. We know that a hundred percent of athletes at every level, and I've worked with athletes who are very young around eight to nine years old, all the way through Olympic college level athletes who have come into our community. And spoken with our girls about what they face and it's the same. They say the same things. Pre-game nerves, mistakes and feeling a little bit like their confidence is shaken after mistakes, pressure, situations, feeling afraid that they're not going to perform how they want to perform peer pressure, comparison, not feeling good enough, not wanting to let people down. Again, these are very common struggles. Every athlete at every level faces them. And so do not think don't fall into this trap to think, well, you know, if my athlete's not quite struggling right now, maybe she'll just never compare herself to other people. Maybe she'll just never struggle in a pressure situation or kind of get rocked by MSA? No, she's just like a unicorn. Your daughter is special, but she's not a unicorn that is going to be immune to these things that every athlete, every stage and age Face in their sport. However, some athletes are equipped to handle these things. Some athletes do know what to do when the pressure strikes. Some athletes are able to recognize when they have an automatic negative thought that's not productive and they can pause and they can shift it. Some athletes do have skills to come back from mistakes and not let one mistake impact the rest of the game. And so what's the difference between athletes who can handle those things and manage the normal parts of being an athlete and those who can't. Those who can have trained the mental side of the game. They have trained their mindset. They have skills to navigate those situations. And the really great part about this is that these skills can be taught and they can be taught at a young age, middle school, high school. I didn't learn these skills until I was a 22 year old college athlete. And it literally changed the game for me at that stage. And it's something that I wish I would have had. I wish my mom would have invested in giving me the skills to train the mental side of my sport. I would have enjoyed it for a lot longer, actually quit my sports. After my senior year, I had a. An opportunity to come back and play in college. And some of you know, that story, but I absolutely know I would have not quit if I would have had the skills to manage nerves and pressure, because I thought I was the only one. And most athletes are carrying all of this inside of them. You know, they're outwardly maybe performing. Okay. Performing well. But inwardly they're like, oh my gosh, this pressure is almost unbearable. And so we want to provide our kids with the opportunities to train these skills because they are accessible to them at a young age. She doesn't have to wait until she's 22 or walk away from her sport or never really reached her potential or enjoy it as much as she could. And one nuance part about this competitive advantage that your athlete could have. I want you specifically to think about. Your athlete's sport and how long. Her sport requires to come back from a mistake or kind of something that throws her off in a competition, because this is kind of the number one thing that I hear from athletes. And I hear from parents also is that. When I make a mistake, I start to think negative things. And then this mistake really impacts the rest of the game. I know that's what it was for me too. As an athlete, it's like, oh, when I make a mistake, I'm letting all these people down. And here's the deal. The athlete that can get over their mistake fastest has the greatest competitive advantage. And so, as I asked. How long does your daughter sport require her to come back from a mistake? And what I mean by that is if your daughter plays a sport like volleyball, Right. The next serve. So, you know, the rally ends next service probably coming within the next 15, 20 seconds. So she needs to be. Ready to go within 20 seconds, max. If she plays a sport like basketball, there's not a lot of time depending on kind of what's happening. Potentially she has almost no time where she's running back to get back on defense. If she's a swimmer, she's a gymnast. If she is a dancer, any of those performance based sports. That really? She has no time. If she kind of slips up a little bit in her routine, she has got to get back in it and on it right away. Now she's a golfer, depending on how far she hits the ball. She potentially has a little more time to get over her mistake before she gets to the Bosch. You know, like me, I don't hit it very far, so I don't have as much time, but maybe she does have a couple of minutes to kind of. Sit with what happened and she has time to get over it. But for most athletes, they don't have a lot of time to, to get over their mistakes. And so if you put athletes side by side of similar skill, And one athlete takes two minutes to get over a mistake or for some of our athletes. Before they come into the elite mental game, it's taking them hours where they're dwelling on mistakes for days. It takes that long to get over a mistake. And then the other athlete who has a routine. And we call ours a snapback routine. And she can come back from her mistake in 10 seconds or less, or she can come back from her mistake as she's running back on the court. Who has the greatest competitive advantage? Obviously the athlete who is back regulated and ready for the next play is the one who's going to play better. And therefore has the greatest competitive advantage. And the beautiful thing about this, like I said, is that this is a skill. This is one of the many skills that your athlete learns as she trains her mental game. To come back from mistakes. And like I said, ours is the snapback routine. So that's a combination of an intentional breath or reset word that she identifies through a specific process. And then on the exhale, a recent gesture that helps ground her and get her back to the present moment. Something as simple as that is a tool that can literally be a game changer for an athlete's career for their experience, for their performance. Because it really doesn't matter how good an athlete is. You can have all the training in the world, but if you put them side by side, the one that has the mental game that is stronger is going to perform better time after time. Over the one who doesn't. And recently a mom came through our program with her daughter. Her daughter's name is Emily. Mom's name is Stephanie and she actually emailed me the other day. And I thought this was really relevant. So I'm gonna read this to you just because it kind of hits the nail on the head when it comes to how impactful training, the mental side of the game. Is an creating this competitive advantage. And so Stephanie said that she said, I want to let you know that this program has had an immediate and substantial impact on my daughter, Emily. We have struggled with perfectionism and bouncing back from the stakes and defeat for a long time. I can tell a difference in how she responds on the court. I see her talking to herself and staying upbeat despite having a mediocre game last week. It has been a game changer, no pun intended. Thank you for your program. The fact that she's learning and applying your strategies at age 12, puts her so far ahead of the game. In my opinion, she's really embraced this program. She looks forward to the new trainings and even bought a special notebook to take notes. She has three pages of notes after each training. What I love about this is, well, a couple of things. First of all. At 12, these skills can start to transform the trajectory of an athlete's experience. I mean, this is the young end, right? And so seeing. A twelve-year-old be able to apply these skills. I mean, it almost gives me goosebumps to think about how impactful this is as she grows through her sport, because. The sport is only gonna get harder for her. It's only going to get more competitive. It's only going to get you know, more pressure filled. The expectations are only going to get greater. There's only gonna be more pressure on her from her coach to be mentally tough. And again, most coaches don't actually teach the side of the game, but they do expect your athlete to be mentally tough. And so the fact that this 12 year old has these skills, now that will grow with her. Is awesome. And the other part of this is that. Like she said it's been a game changer because she is able to come back from defeat, bounce back from mistakes. You know, have a mediocre game, which happens in an athlete's career, but not get torn down by it. How many times does your athlete had a mediocre or even a bad game? And then they're just kind of like, Moping around the house. You can't even go out to dinner because she's in a terrible mood. And you know, when she doesn't do well and she doesn't handle that loss well, it impacts the entire family just impacts the mood of the house. And so being able to have a skill to productively process and see the positive and ship those Negative thoughts is a game changer, not just for her, but for everybody else in your world, in your family. And here's the other thing is that. You know, these things are very visible on the court, on the fields, in your athlete sport. She will have that competitive advantage because now she has skills to overcome all the normal things that athletes face, but there's also off the court wins. I always. You know, get a kick out of when athletes are in the program and they're starting to text us and message us and be like, Hey, you know I'm using my stamp pack routine. It's helping me a lot and all these things. And we're like, yay. But honestly, we expect that, but it's when we start to hear about these off-court wins, right? We hear their parents saying things like she's making better decisions. She's taking healthier risks. She has better relationship. She's standing up for herself. She has better body image. She's more equipped to handle kind of the challenges that come with her academics and some of this pre test anxiety that she used to struggle with. And so all of these things too, that are just a result of being able to apply these skills in her sport, the sport is the vehicle. The sport is where she gets to kind of have this playground to apply these skills. But really she is applying these and she's soaking them up for her life. And so some people think, and they ask like, is it really worth to invest in something like this? Is it really important? You know, I'm already investing. A lot in her sport, Marnie paying for lessons I'm already paying for her team, her equipment, all of this. Is it really worth it to invest in her confidence and in her mental game. And I throw that back and say, well, how much is it worth it to have this peace of mind knowing that your daughter knows how to navigate these challenges that will come up for her on the court. Again, not sheltering her, but you can't be with her every single moment of her sport. You can't come down from the stands and talk to her and say like, Hey, Hey, come on. Snap out of it. And even if you could, I'm not even sure that that would work when she's in that dysregulated state, but no, not sheltering her, but having that peace of mind, knowing that she actually has the tools within herself. To get through it. Also how much is it worth to have confidence that your athlete will make good decisions? That when she's in situations where maybe she feels uncomfortable and she knows how to trust herself again, we can't shelter her. We can't actually protect her from every single situation she's going to be in socially, academically in her sport. So we might as well give her the skills to trust herself, to trust what she's feeling, to stand up for herself, to advocate for herself, to know that her confidence is rooted in her, not in other people's opinions of her. I mean, honestly, isn't that what it's all about. Also to give her the confidence to feel confident in her own body. We are so fortunate to have so many amazing girl athletes come through a program. And what we also hear from these athletes is that a lot of them struggle with their body image. They struggle with feelings that. They are not a certain size or sheep or they're always comparing themselves to other people and developing her confidence, understanding that her, how she talks to herself impacts how she feels about herself in her sport. That is something that I know for my own daughter. Now I want her to know more than anything that she is beautiful. She is worthy. She is. We're the of confidence, no matter what the shape of her body is. And so. I think that we can all agree at this point that equipping your daughter with the skill of confidence, but she can navigate. Life and her sport and the pressures is a hundred percent worth it. I can't think of anywhere else that I would rather invest my time, money, energy, and effort into than equipping my girl athlete with the skills to be able to be confident in her sport and in her life. And here's the last thing that I will leave you with, how to give your athlete a competitive advantage. So not only by giving her the skills to navigate the normal parts of being an athlete so that she can rise up, she can play to potential and she can know how to handle those situations, but also. Athletes who have parents. Who know what to say and do before and after games and how to build their athletes. Confidence. Those athletes have a greater competitive advantage over athletes who have parents who don't know what to do in those situations. So here's what I'm talking about. The time before your daughter competes what you say to her matters after your athlete competes in that car ride home. The questions that you're asking, how you're framing things. How you're helping your athlete deal with disappointments. How you're helping her navigate. Teammate drama interactions, how you're helping her navigate challenging coaches. Athletes who have parents who are equipped to handle those things who are asking the right questions. Who are supporting their athlete's confidence in a way that's actually not. Unintentionally tearing down their confidence. Those athletes have a greater competitive advantage as well. And so that's actually one of our secret sauces and the way that we approach mental training, that's way different than a lot of other people in this space. Is that not only do we focus on the athlete side, because obviously that is extremely important, developing her mental side of the game. But a whole half of our program, 50% of our program is dedicated to equipping parents with the skills that they need to build confidence in their athletes. And realizing what they're saying and how they're saying it. Is impacting their athlete's confidence. Ensuring that they are productively praising the right things. They're recognizing the right thing so that they're not unintentionally developing perfectionism in their athlete, helping athletes who do struggle with pre performance anxiety or. Perfectionism or these high achievers that typically have. You know, an underlying dark side, that's kind of weighing them down. Parents who know how to handle that. Parents who know how to walk alongside their athletes, through all of those things and build their confidence in the process are actually giving their athletes a competitive advantage. And so that's why we are so passionate about what we do. That's why we're so passionate, not only about developing the athlete's mental game, but also developing and Giving you the skills that you need in those situations. Because let's be honest. There is not a playbook when it comes to raising a girl athlete. But our programs in our trainings are the closest thing that you will find. So to recap, if you want your athlete to have a competitive advantage in her sport and in life, investing in her mental skills is where it's at. And if you want an easy way to get started with his head to our free training for sports moms, that's at train her game.com. It's about a 45 minute training where we go over our method to how to develop mental strength and confidence in your athlete. And you will walk away with some really tangible strategies on. Things you can start implementing right now. All right, moms. I am coach Bree mental performance coach for girl athletes. So happy you're here. And I will see you in the next episode of the raising elite competitors podcast.