098 - how do we begin the conversation...


If there's one area that's severely lacking when it comes to supporting these next generations in their long-term development, it's in the realms of everything happening outside of their sport... you know, in the other 90% of their lives

How they're coping with school work...
How they're handling all the social circumstances found in the schoolyard...
How they're managing their time with work, friendships, and family dynamics...
How they're handling the pressure around them...

Why does this lack of guidance in these area's exist? To us, these are the most important areas as they're affecting everything else in life, the kids bring these issues and aspects to sport with them. And again, to us, the answer lies in these are the hardest conversations to have - but that makes them the most powerful

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage...

The quality of your life depends upon the number of hard conversations you're willing to have...

When you ask parents and coaches, their answer (see: excuse), revolves around "I don't know where to begin... I don't know what to say" - and that's the problem, they barely need to say anything...

How do we begin the conversation with kids?  It's simple, it all begins with seeking to listen, and, more importantly, UNDERSTAND, what's going on...

Understanding is the foundation for all help, guidance, and support we can provide them. It's simply taking the time to genuinely and authentically sit down, zip our mouths shut, and listen with everything that we have. It's showing the empathy, authenticity, and vulnerability required to begin building the coach-child relationship and place ourselves in a position where we can provide the guidance and support needed for the individual child in this individual situation

We always create complexities to hide our imperfections - and in this instance, we make excuses and make the situation so much more complex than it needs to be to let us off the hook and hide our own insecurities and shortcomings so we don't have to sit down and help these kids with the things that truly matter

And that's a huge disservice to them, in fact, I personally think it's a crime... It's like seeing a hit-and-run and walking off like you saw nothing and it never happened


Actionable Tips + Questions:

  • Parents, it all begins with understanding. Sit down with your child, throw away your ego, zip your lips, and listen. Place yourself in your child's shoes, try and see the world through their eyes, seek to understand where they're coming from and what they're experiencing, and then help them t the best of your ability.  Who knows, sometimes talking things over is all it takes to solve an issue...
Nick Maier