Raising Elite Competitors

Helping Your Athlete Handle The Pressure of Her Sport w/ Volleyball Mom Silvana Rivero

December 12, 2023 Coach Bre Season 2 Episode 172
Raising Elite Competitors
Helping Your Athlete Handle The Pressure of Her Sport w/ Volleyball Mom Silvana Rivero
Show Notes Transcript

Are you a parent struggling to support your child in the world of competitive sports? In this episode, we talk about the challenges and provide solutions for parents helping their young athletes navigate the pressures of sports. Join us as we explore the journey of Silvana and her daughter Serena, uncovering valuable insights for every sports parent.

What we cover in this episode:

  • Parental Challenges. Silvana’s initial struggles in supporting Serena’s sports endeavors.
  • Impact of Parental Support. The importance of understanding and adapting parental support in high-pressure environments.
  • The Role of Mental Strength Programs. How enrolling in ECP transformed their approach.
  • Communication is Key. Learning the art of listening and effective communication in sports parenting.
  • Emotional Growth and Independence. Encouraging young athletes to manage their emotions and make independent decisions.
  • Sharing Lessons Learned. The importance of spreading knowledge and support within the sports community.

Curious to hear more about Silvana and Serena’s inspiring story? Tune into our full podcast for an in-depth look at their journey and gather essential tips to help your athlete thrive under pressure.

Listen now and join our community of supportive sports parents!

Listen to the full episode here: [insert podcast link]

Episode Highlights: 

[00:00] Parental pressure in youth sports. Silvana shares her journey of navigating high-pressure sports environments with her 14-year-old daughter, Serena.

[04:13] Parenting and athletic development. Silvana shares her experience of discovering ECP through a session and eventually signing up after recognizing the need for mental strength training for her daughter.

[08:07] Mental training for young athletes. Silvana shares how she uses their own experiences and learnings from ECP to help Serena manage this pressure and improve her performance.

[13:08] Impact of mental training program on mother-daughter relationship. Learn how the mental training program improved Serena’s confidence and helped her bond with her mother, who noticed changes in her anxiety and pressure.

[17:04] Parenting and mental training for a 14-year-old athlete. Discover Silvana’s tips and insights for parenting and mental training for a 14-year-old athlete.

Next Steps:

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Welcome back to the racing elite competitors podcast. I'm coach Bree, a mental performance coach for girl athletes. And I am so happy that you are here no matter where you are on your journey as a sports bomb, maybe your daughter is young or just getting going on this journey. And you want to make sure that you are doing and saying the right things to build her confidence in her mental strength, or maybe you were at the end of this journey. And you have a lot of seasons under your belt and you still are looking for ways to ensure your athlete can level up and handle the pressure and the expectations and the nerves. No matter where you are or are you maybe in the middle, this podcast is for you to help you do just that. Raise a confident, mentally strong girl athlete. And I'm excited because today you get to hear from a mom in our community who is doing just that as well. Her name is Silvana and her daughter, Serena was recently inside our program called the elite mental game formerly called the elite competitive programs. You hear her mention that inside this interview? But here's the deal with Silvana and her daughter. Her daughter he's a high level athlete. And we sometimes. Think that if athletes are performing well and they're talented and you know, it looks like they have everything going for them that they're not struggling and that they're, they must just be doing really well. Here's the deal. Athletes that are performing well. And they are really talented, are often dealing with a lot of pressure and the expectation that is put on them in these roles. And that's exactly what the story that you're here, that you're, you will hear in this episode kind of portrays that, you know, there's a lot going on under the knee underneath You know, an athlete of any level in any ability. And we need to recognize that. And so you're going to hear this story. I hope it's relatable because I know a lot of you are in this situation where. You have athletes that are like, man, if they only they could get out of their own head or if only they believe in themselves as much as I believe in them, or they've got all the physical talent in the world. Just go out and just crush it. Come on. And so you're going to hear about how Silvana kind of navigated this in the beginning with her athlete and with Serena and, you know, the things that she wished she would have done differently and the things that she wished she would've said differently because they ended up putting more pressure on her. So. Without further ado, we're going to get into it. And I know you're going to enjoy this episode a lot. Know you're going to connect a lot with Serena and Savannah's story. So. enjoy, and I will see you at the end of the episode. I am so excited that you are here with us on the podcast. I am happy to be here. Thank you for having me. Yes. And right before we hit record, I was hearing so many amazing stories. And then I was like, wait, wait, wait. We need to stop and hit record because this is, this is gold that we can't let go to waste. But can you introduce, well, you've already introduced yourself. Can you talk about, your daughter? How old is she? What sports does she play? so my wonderful daughter, who's the best of me. Her name is Serena and she is 14. Volleyball is her main sport, but she's also played basketball and done swimming and, you know, we dabbled in other sports until she found volleyball, which she loves. Yeah. Oh, that's great. So both of you went through the program,, a little bit ago recently. Well, you'll talk about kind of how your journey through it all. So I, I am curious and excited for you to share your story because there are so many other moms and athletes who are in your same position or were in your position. So, can you take me back to... The beginning. And talk about what you and Serena were experiencing, before you came across the program. I think for me, for my background, right, it's like, if you fall, rub some dirt on it and move on, right? But sports now is such a high pressure environment that I personally didn't know how to guide her. Whereas in school. Here's a tutor, or if you need help in that, your dad's a math minor. If you need it in Spanish, I can help you with that. I didn't realize until I went through the program how much, I don't want to say damage, but how I was not supporting her in the way that she needed to be supported to bring out the best in her. Yeah. And you're not alone in that. There's lot. Obviously, I mean, as a parent myself, we come from the best of intentions, but there's no, like, playbook for this, and, you know, this whole sports journey, whether or not, parents have played the sport that their kids play, sometimes they're like, well, well, I played the sport, so I get it, sometimes that makes it even worse for athletes, and so I love that you bring that up because we don't intentionally ever harm our kids, and we're not trying to make it more challenging for them than it already is. But sometimes we unintentionally do that. And so, yeah, let's, let's dive into, what were you, what was, what were you seeing in Serena before you, before you joined? Yeah. So two years ago, I had not even heard of like ECP or anything like that. And so she was in a very high pressure environment with the club and, Unfortunately, do I say unfortunately playing all the time, right? And so the stress of that, she also didn't know how to deal with anxiety that that was bringing. Last year when she started club again, I definitely didn't want her to go through that because she I hated it personally like I don't want to go this is not fun for me and And I know that if it's not fun for me, it's probably like 10 times as worse for her because she's there She's on the course. She's with the players, you know, you can't be dealing with anxiety when you need to focus on where the ball's going and who you're gonna set it to and You know, it's your platform, right? So and i was starting to see some of the That behavior starting again last year, right? So it happened the whole time 2 years ago, and I started to see it again at the beginning of the new club and I didn't want that to happen. And then that's when I started. Maybe that's how you came up on my feed. Right? Because I was researching like, how to help. Your daughter mental strength. I don't know. Yeah, yeah, sports. And I think maybe, you know, the algorithm led me to you. So it works out that way. A lot of times it doesn't want one benefit. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So then I attended one of your introductions for one of your sessions and I was like, I didn't sign up right away. I was like, well, let me think about. Yeah. And then. There's a tournament in between your free session and then the next when I finally signed up and then I saw the same thing and I was like, you know what, I need to do something because this, this is what I'm doing. Obviously, it's not working. And that's when I signed up for ECB. Okay, that's, that's so great. You know, it's always, what's that saying? Like, when you're ready, the teacher will appear type of thing. Like, we hear that a lot where it's like, Sometimes moms are like, well, she's not really Charlene. And I love that you said that there's pressure that comes with playing all the time. And on, that was my story too, as an athlete, it was like, I was, all the eyes were on me. There's a lot, a lot of pressure to perform. At least I, I put that together in my head, you know, I'm sure like Serena is too. Where, you know, I'm, I gotta be on all the time. You know, people are depending on me. And as a 14 year old or a 13 year old, that is. A lot to navigate. Yeah. And so, yeah, you, you know, you kind of articulated what a lot of parents say to that, like, well, you know, I don't know. I don't know if she's ready. And then it's like, yep, this is the time. A lot of parents actually, you know, what I'm trying to help them see too, is that equipping your athlete with skills before you get to that breaking point is actually even better, but, but sometimes it's just, you know, it just doesn't work like that. So Yeah. So you both join and you did have, I love that you called it an odyssey before we started recording. So tell us about your journey, kind of what changes you were noticing, what, you know, right when you joined and then how you navigated your odyssey through the program. Right, so I wish, like I said, I didn't want to call it a challenge because it's definitely I feel like an odyssey is more of like discovering yourself, right? And a challenge is like, you're just going through it and. Just getting it over with and so in this odyssey, we started and we started strong, but you know, some things like I was telling you, I'm not really the type of parent to push her and I, if you want this fine, but you, you know, I give you the opportunities and you have to follow through, right? And so I guess with anything new, you started strong and then we started to see results right away and then we stopped. And then also I made the reference or the simile to a diet, right? You start seeing results in your diet, you lose a couple of pounds and then you stop. And that's what we did. We stopped. And just like you gain not only what you lost, but then a little more. I think that's what happened to us. Like we actually took a couple of steps. It also made us, it took us a couple of steps back. Yeah. And as I was continuing to do it and then with six, I think she stopped. I even wrote like. I've been going through this for 6 weeks, and this isn't working for me, and I don't know what else I said, and I think I, I don't know if I said it, or maybe I thought it. I need to go back to square one, and I did, and that was really the best thing that I could have done. And just as I said that, I don't really nag about stuff on this, I did. I'm like, did you call in too good? The kids call every other Sunday. Did you do today's lesson? Did you write in the thing? Because I did all the printouts, right? Let me not kill trees for nothing up in here. So I would, I would really follow up with her and make sure that she did. I'm like, Oh, even during the games. Well, what part of the training? Are you putting into play here? Right. What do you need from me at this point? Do you want to talk before you're going to leave you alone doing? Do you want to stay quiet afterwards? Like, I need you to tell me what you need in order to then us have a successful tournament. And that has worked surprisingly. So, you know, and I saw her anxiety. If she was, it's always good to be a little nervous, right? But it wasn't to the point where it was hurting her, breaking her down, crying. She was actually like, look, I did my best and that's all I can do. And when she said that, I was like... I would too! You're like, that's exact, that's like what we're trying to do here. Yeah. And I was also mentioning, as I'm learning, right? It's like riding a bike. You don't forget, you can then help others ride a bike. So, you know, being a young teenager, Serena's not the only one going through this. And I would see some of her other teammates putting that pressure, right? Because as parents, I also want you to do well, because. Well, I drove all this way. I don't want to lose. So you have the teammates, you have the parents, you have the coach. And so as I saw Serena getting better, I think it helped me then see how the other how this pressure was affecting other girls, right? Like, at first, you don't see the issue. But then once you realize the issues there, you're like, Oh, my gosh, yeah. Why did I do this all along and to the girls that I had a report with and they felt comfortable going up with, I did and I'd be like, Hey, let me talk to you about this and or, or let's have a walk. Right? And so we have a walk and I would share, or I would use some of the whole nuggets learned through ACP and, and it's just a small little words of wisdom. Really that. I saw help them. I don't know if it was a walk or if it was a conversation or if it was the the training, but maybe everything all together did help these other ones. And so even though they were losing. Then they started to win, right? Immediately, by the next game, it was like, 180, set, kill, you know, pass, all these different things, and communicating and talking and calling it, and, ah, it was just wonderful. And then by the end of the day, whatever started bad, it ended in such a high note, and parents were celebrating, and the coaches, they were all high fiving, and... You're like, Hey yeah, it definitely is. I'll sign you. When the opportunity comes, I evangelize the ECP method and I'd be like, you need to check this out. Oh, that's so cool. I love though that you are, well, two, two things kind of stood out for me for that, you know, your kid, you know, and so everyone goes to the different, the program in the way that works best for them. I mean, it's, it's now laid out and structured in a way that's super easily consumable. And, you know, as athletes go through the, the trainings are short, they earn points and all this And you were like, okay, we tried just kind of letting you, you do it. And now we're going to add in some more structure. You know, you were even saying we're going to prioritize this even above cleaning your room. And so, and that's, that's what works. So knowing your kid is essential to this and making it something that's, you know, this is, this is important because you're already investing so much, like you said, time, money, travel. To her sport. So let's make sure that it's going to pay off and you're going to invest a little bit of mental training, like not as much as you're doing physical training is a little bit to really get this to pay off. So good job for recognizing that. But you're also you're spreading, you're spreading the You know, the, the gift of this too. And yeah, the good news. aNd I think that's, that's so amazing. And obviously you're, you know, you're making a difference, not just in Serena's life, but her teammates or friends. So yeah, that's great. These are kind of things that develops bonds, right. And when you have that strength and bond with your teammate, it's not just someone that you show up once a week or twice a week or whatever, and have practice. And then It really then becomes a team, right? It becomes that family, it becomes that want that everybody is looking for in this team sports, right? That's the team. So, and then I saw that, I saw that, yep, that's her team right there. So we're hoping that with the next trial season coming up here at the end of the month she makes the same team and at least most of her teammates make it and And so can be the winter trial the beginning of the first weekend in November. Okay. Okay. Yeah. So she should go through as I was saying offline too, we've, we've restructured the program to be the elite mental game. So same, same concepts, same content that gets results from what was ECP that you all went through. It's now in a different format. So she should, she should do it right before tryouts. That would be a good thing for her to, to get on top of mine. Yeah. Okay, so this has been great. So you started noticing changes in Serena specifically around, like, anxiety and kind of that pressure that she was feeling. And you hit on this a little bit, but can you dive deeper into the impact that this had on your relationship with her? Because unlike a lot of mental training programs that we know of, there's a heavy... Mom parent component of this program because we see it as essential to supporting your athlete So were there any changes or anything that you noticed in your relationship with her? Yes during the sports during that the tournaments right where I would get so angry at her I would get so angry because And I, again, I feel bad for not realizing this sooner, right? I was putting that pressure on her, and I was just like, Stop! Just stop crying. You know, just, You just have to decide to deal with it. Just deal with it, and move on. And that's, that didn't help, man. That was, that was me... Oh, I get emotional. That was me putting her down, beating her up. And that's not what I want, right? Because I want her to like stand on my shoulders. I want her to be the best of me. I want her to like achieve so much more. And, and if I would have continued down that path, she would have hated the sport. And I'm sure it would have affected our relationship. Mom's annoying. I don't wanna deal with her kind of deal, and like, Hey, mom, tell you about the tea, and I'm, yes, yes, please do. Oh. And when she tells me these things, I just stay quiet, honestly, and I just let her, let her talk to me, whereas before, I would be talking to her, right? And that's not what she needed. She needed me just to listen. And it's because of that ECP, I don't remember which week it was but it basically tells you, like, it's multiple weeks. You have your pre game, during the game, and then after. So you have to listen to all three weeks. So I. Get the full benefit of it. So I would be like, so she did say, just listen. So that's what I do. I just listen. Or I say, Hey, is it okay for me? Do you want me to give you feedback? And she's like, yes, mom, will you just tell me? And then I'd be like, okay, well, this is what I noticed. So now it's already telling her she's eliciting that from me. So it's more, it's better received. Yeah. All those things are just wonderful. Yeah, that's so I'm so glad you shared that because I mean, through this again, it's, it's very different than a lot of men's training programs because as parents, we have to look at ourselves and we have to see, like, why am I being triggered by this? You know, we kind of have to, like, look inward and, and see, like, okay, how, how is my, how is my own anxiety impacting my athlete pregame? How are these, these things that I think are so important that I bring up to her? You know, right after a game, how is this actually impacting her? And I love that you can actually have some awareness and some foresight to see if I were to continue down that path, you know, where this would have ended both of us up, you know, and that's not where we want to be. So, and I've seen it. I mean, that's why this program exists is because I have seen that so many times with so many of the athletes that I coach in my teams and on club where it's like, Oh no, this is just, it's the, the sport is because it's getting in the way of your relationship with your athlete. And yeah, so I love that you've, you've totally, it sounds like really reframed how you, how you approach her. So, well, not just her, like her sister to it and after school, I picked them out. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. But when it's bad, you can tell, right? You're pulling up and you're like, Ah, it's not a good day. And so, I would be like, Hey, everything okay? What happened? I don't want to talk about it. I'm like, okay, we don't have to talk about it. We'll just sit here in silence, not talking about it. And then I would just drive. And all of a sudden, there'd be the ones talking, right? Yeah. And that's just... So much better than me trying to force it from them or being upset that they're not sharing with me. And I'm like, all right, we'll just sit here in silence. Sure. That's, you know, we'll just drive home that way. And obviously they do want to talk, but they want to be in control of it. And, and I don't have to. I don't have to be, I already control enough things and this is you and I tell them, you know, emotions are such a big thing at a young age. My little one is 8 and Serena is 14. I only have 2, but in both situations, but different, different scenarios. Emotions are still very big, right? The little one is learning to deal with it and recognizing it. Serena is more of like, she already knows. It's more like, how do I communicate this? Properly. Or how do I want to communicate this at this point? Do I need to like calm down and then bring my mom in? Do I not need my mom at this moment? And that's, that's part of also independence, right? And, and it's helped me, you know, for, alright, you're 14, obviously, you're not ready to like, take your business on your own, but you are ready to like, manage your emotions a little bit more than your younger sister, and, and I have to, and I have to let go of the reins a little bit, and, yeah. And that's also ECP, and like, I have to, I provide the opportunities, and then it's her, right? I could only show her the door. I could even open the door, but it has to be her that walks through it. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, my God. All right. Listen. No, I don't say here. I mean that it's just it's just so beautiful the way that you're describing that because that's what a lot of moms are are hoping for to and are are seeking. And so, you know, Deciding that this is, this is what we're going to do to prioritize this, prioritize our relationship. I mean, yeah, it's just, it's so impactful. Not just for her sport, obviously, you know, and not just, like, not just for this, this little moment in time where she's playing, you know, it just, it bleeds into everything else. So. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for putting that together. Thank you for your program and 21 out there, right? They started and they're like, this is not working, like, push through it and even if you do leave it, come back to it because. It's going to help. It's going to help. I saw you halfway through. I was ready to be like, I wasted my money. And I did not, I did not waste my money. It was the best thing that I could have done for us as we move forward, right? Because higher level play is higher pressure, competition, am I good enough? And I you say, right? You just trust in your twin. The rest will play itself out. Yes. Thank you. You know, some days you're good, some days you're at the top, some days you're at the bottom, but having this training and having this information and this, I guess, playbook a little bit and dealing with your emotions during this situation in life, then it helps you navigate between. The highs and the lows. Yeah. Absolutely. Because those are inevitable. So, yeah. And I love it. And this is going to grow with her too, right? Like I said, she should definitely, you know, go through the new refreshed program too. Before club tryouts and it's, you know, as she gets more and more pressure More and more expectations on her because she's, she's a good athlete, you know this is going to be with her to, to continue to, to help guide her. So, and you. I'm so proud of her, so excited for her. She's top 10 in the state and I didn't know, right, like somebody else has to learn. That is how non involved sometimes I am. And, and that's why, so even though I'm not involved, I'm like, Hey, get over it, you know, just deal with it. That's not going to work. That didn't work for me when I was younger, and I don't know why I was continuing the cycle, but you know, hooray for cycle breakers, and it was through this, through this program that I was able to give that to her, which is, that's so, yeah, you're so right. I mean, yeah. Oh, well, I'm so grateful for you. And so, so thankful that you two are, are in, in our community because two are awesome and you really are a cycle breaker. So, yeah, you know, she's the one driving, she's the one implementing using this and I could see it and The resilience is there and I'm definitely going to be like, Hey, please listen to ECP or the mental game before you Start these tryouts, right? Because everybody's going to be sizing you up. Parents are going to be sizing you up. Yeah, that's that's definitely going to be happening. So Well, thank you again, this has been amazing resonating with a lot of moms who are listening. So Thank you. Thank you again. All right. Well, thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your day. And you know, I'll let you know what happens. I'll send you an email after a tryout. See how it went. Yes.