Have you ever asked your athlete that question? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I'm a Mental Toughness Coach and it's one of the most important questions I ask athletes and parents. Why is it such an important question?
To show up as our Greatest Self, we must face our deepest fears. How can we face our fears if we don't know what they are?
I am working with a young hockey player who wants to be selected for one of the best teams in his area. He was telling me how nervous he was feeling. I asked him what he was afraid of. He had never thought about it. All he knew was he was feeling nervous. As we continued our conversation, I helped him tap into his heart. He figured out his biggest fear was disappointing his parents if he wasn't selected for the team.
When I ask athletes what they are afraid of, it's usually a different answer than what their parents say the athlete is afraid of. How can parents help their athletes face their fears if they don't know what they are?
I was talking with the parents of the hockey player mentioned above. I asked them what they thought their athlete was afraid of. "Not reaching his goals," was the answer. Wrong! I asked the parents if they had ever had this conversation with their athlete and they had not. As we continued our conversation, I encouraged them to tap into the heart of their athlete so they could help him face his fears.
When I ask parents what they are afraid of, their fears are many, and they put a lot of effort into trying not to think about them. How can we learn to manage our fears if we are running away from them?
I asked the same parents about their deepest fears. "Our son not reaching his goals." What had they been doing about that fear? "Trying to hide it from our son," was the answer. Perhaps. Perhaps they were trying to hide it from themselves. As we continued our conversation, I encouraged them to tap into their hearts and face that fear. Deal with it rather than hide from it.
I believe that emotional intelligence is an important part of Mental Toughness. It's helpful to know WHAT to do with HOW we feel. And it's not just athletes that need this skill. Parents and coaches need it too! And you're right, it's not as easy as it sounds. I can help with that. I'm starting a new program on March 5 for athletes and parents. Mental Toughness Training for your immediate family. Bam! It's only $99 CDN if you register by February 24. Check it out. I also do Private Coaching, Team Coaching, and I have an AWESOME online course. And did I mention Mind Gym? CHANGE DOESN'T TAKE TIME. IT TAKES COURAGEOUS ACTION.