Raising Competitors™ focuses on equipping parents with strategies for raising youth athletes with grit, gratitude, growth mindset, and leadership for success in school, sports, and life.
Learn ways to encourage youth athletes to compete every day against their own previous best and excel in life on and off the sports field. Hosted by Jake Thompson from Compete Every Day, you’ll hear his conversations with experts, sports psychologists, parents and coaches on strategies and tactics he wants to instill in his future children.
Learn more at RaisingCompetitors.com!
BONUS: How Should Competitors & Parents Manage Amateur Sports Cancellations & Grief
Former guest Kip Watson, the founder of BrainCode Corp, joins this week’s BONUS episode to discuss the world of sports during covid-19, how parents & youth athletes can manage the grief, pain, and heartbreak of league cancellations, and the importance of personal responsibility in overcoming pain.
To learn more about Kip’s work, visit BrainCodeCorp.com.
Trust & Vulnerability in Leadership with Bobby Audley
Intentionality is the key to deep relationships and deep relationships are what make a strong and cohesive team. This week on the Raising Competitors podcast, leadership and team development facilitator Bobby Audley shares ideas for team-building that will last. It doesn’t matter if your team is a group of young athletes, seasoned pros, or employees who work with one another in an office, finding a way to bring them together as individuals and as people will help foster a bond that will make the whole group stronger.
Some of the most successful teams aren’t the ones who win the most games, Audley says, but the ones who have good camaraderie and a shared vision. That comes from building trust between teammates, allowing yourself to be vulnerable as a person, and not getting defensive when someone challenges you — but instead using a challenge as a learning opportunity. It comes down to opening up the doors to good communication and a willingness to share with those around you.
Things You’ll Learn:
* Be intentional about relationships* Allow yourself to be vulnerable* Make time for one-on-one conversations* Lean into fear and discomfort* Work to build trust with your team
“Teams, whether they’re athletic or corporate, that have deep invested relationships are more effective. Science points to it.” -Bobby Audley
“You treat each other as friends, you have respect for each other, you have empathy for each other, you have kindness and grace — all these things that sound overly simplified are the difference-maker for effective teams, athletic or not.” -Bobby Audley
“I think the biggest thing holding us back from deeper relationships is vulnerability and the ability to be vulnerable, the ability to not have the answers, the ability to say the wrong thing.” -Bobby Audley
“Are you making a decision based on the fear of what could happen or are you making a decision based on the courage of what could possibly happen?” -Bobby Audley
“I think a lot of times we’re just too scared and we end up selling ourselves and our lives short because we don’t take our relationships deep enough to truly experience community and relationship.” -Jake Thompson
You can follow Bobby Audley on social media @BobbyAudley. Be sure to check out his podcast, “50 Cups of Coffee.” You can find out more about his training and consulting work online at penneautraininggroup.com.
Mentions This Week:
* Pick a Fight: How Great Teams Find a Purpose Worth Rallying Around by David Burkus* Jon Gordon’s interview with Matt Brown on the Positive University Podcast.
The Four Key Questions to Ask Your Athlete with Alan Stein Jr
It’s a serious commitment to be a youth sports parent and it can be challenging, at times, to find the best way to support your child through their journey. It takes time, money, and emotional energy to stand on the sidelines and provide healthy motivation at home, while leaving room for your child to grow and learn on their own. This week, author, motivational speaker, and performance coach Alan Stein Jr. talks about parenting a young athlete.
It comes down to modeling the behaviors you want to see them learn and use in everyday life, he says. “I think every parent needs to get great clarity on why you want your children to play sports. And that’s not for me to answer for anyone. That’s for each and every parent to articulate,” says Stein. Once you know why you want them to be there, you can develop the tools to help guide them. As parents, the unseen hours between games and practices, sometimes without our kids around, can be the most important for holistically improving ourselves and building the structures and frameworks to support our families.
Things You’ll Learn:
* Be realistic about the standards you’re setting* Avoid coaching from the sidelines* Practice meaningful repetition to improve* Reinforce the behavior you want to see reflected* Recognize the difference between preparation and performance
“Here’s what’s most important to me (in a coach). Is this coach a good role model? Does he have high character and moral values? Does he hold my kids accountable to doing the same? Does he provide a fun environment where my kids can not only learn a skill, but enjoy the process? Is he teaching and reinforcing these life lessons that I believe are so important? If he’s doing all of those things, that’s all that I’m looking for.” -Alan Stein Jr.
“The seeds we plant with our children at the dinner table and to and from practices in the car — those things carry heavy weight. This is why it’s so important … that you are reinforcing the behavior that you want to see not only with your child, but that you want to see through sport and through the coach.” -Alan Stein Jr.
“You’re going to go through life and you’re going to meet a lot of people that aren’t very good at what they do. You’re going to meet a lot of people that don’t do things the way that you like. Our kids are going to face all kinds of adversity in life and I want my children to learn how to manage it and deal with it on their own, even at a young age, and not have me bail them out by making excuses, blaming, and complaining.” -Alan Stein Jr.
“The only way your child will be able to maximize their potential is if they’re having fun, they’re working hard, they’re open to coaching, and they’re helping their teammates get better.” -Alan Stein Jr.
“I really believe the best thing we can do as parents for our children is to become the best version of ourselves in every area of our life. I think we should all be paying very close attention to our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing and health. And the more we pour into those things during our own unseen hours, the more we’ll model the type of behavior that we want to see in our children.” -Alan Stein Jr.
You can find out more about Alan Stein Jr. on his website, https://alansteinjr.com/. He’s also on social media @AlanSteinJr. Check out his book, Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets from the Best of the Best, online at https://raiseyourgamebook.com/. Stein is currently working on a passion project he hopes to have ready this fall, called The Sideline, which will be a survival guide for youth sports par...
Strong Girls United with Lani Silversides
Every person has a body, a heart, and a mind. It’s where these three components come together that the magic happens, says this week’s guest, teacher and coach Lani Silversides.
Practicing mindfulness about how we speak with and act around kids can help us set a positive example for them. It can also help them build a strong skill set and work ethic that will serve them well as they grow and progress.
For example, we’ve built a lot of judgment into our everyday language, Silversides says. Even questions that may seem benign, like “How was the game?” or “How was your test?” sets kids up to have to answer positively or negatively. Either the test was good, or the test was bad. The game was great, or the game was awful.
Instead, think about rephrasing questions to focus on reflection and growth. Ask kids, “What did you think went well?” or “What was something you enjoyed doing?” By moving to a mindful approach, we can help kids build mental resilience and healthy mindset habits they can use in every aspect of their lives.
Things You’ll Learn:
* Be mindful of the language you use* Pay attention to family routines* Move away from quick judgment about performance* Build mental muscles* Keep the fun factor in youth sports
“I really wanted to start with these young girls and get them confident in being able to try new things and to put themselves out there and know that they can.” -Lani Silversides
“Really trying to be mindful of the word choices that I am using on a day to day basis … has really come to the forefront of my mind and it really boils down to the importance of coaches and parents doing this work for themselves first.” -Lani Silversides
“My motto in the consulting stuff that I do is learn, live, lead. You’ve got to learn about it and live it yourself before leading others because that awareness for me to catch myself is because I’m doing the work as well.” -Lani Silversides
“We think of all of these things as muscles. How do you grow your gratitude muscle? How do you grow your mindfulness muscle? How do you grow your confidence muscle? And so every time you exercise it, like muscles, every time you’re acting on it some way, any way, it’s like doing a repetition where you’re growing the muscle.” -Lani Silversides
“It’s my strong belief that the intersection of those three spaces (body, heart, mind) is a sweet spot where the magic happens.” -Lani Silversides
You can find out more about Lani Silversides’ work online at https://lanisilversides.com/. She’s also on Instagram @LaniSilversides.
There’s more information about Strong Girls United Foundation online at https://sgunitedfoundation.org/ and on Instagram @StrongGirlsUnited.
Click HERE for the SGU middle/high school girls leadership academy!
Be Complete Athletics with Nicole Denes
Kids are like sponges. They soak up whatever you say to them, as parents or coaches, and learn how to act and react from the behavior they see modeled for them. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of how you respond.
This week, coach Nicole Denes shares tips on supporting the process, rather than focusing on the outcomes, and helping kids build good habits for the long run.
It can be helpful to think about problems or mistakes before they happen. That way, you can practice how you might respond before you’re put on the spot. Especially for kids and adults who tend towards perfectionism, it can be useful to re-focus on the skills you need to improve, rather than whether or not a result was perfect.
After all, perfection may be unattainable, but improvement is always possible.
What You’ll Learn:
* Invest in the process* Prepare and plan for mistakes to happen* Be mindful of your reactions* Practice accountability for your actions* Support versatility and variety in sports
“Giving permission to fail is huge, especially coming from a parent. Kids will always listen to their parent more than anyone else, even though it may not feel like that sometimes.” -Nicole Denes
“The way the parent speaks to the child becomes the child’s own voice in the way they speak to themselves.” -Nicole Denes
“I wish parents would understand that you’re not going to hurt your child or that college scholarship by allowing them to play another sport. If anything, it’s helpful in their athletic ability and having confidence in that.” -Nicole Denes
“Be aware of how you as a parent react to mistakes in your everyday life. … Your kids are just soaking that in and they’re going to repeat the exact words in a different situation to themselves.” -Nicole Denes
“If we invest in the process — the little things — the outcomes tend to happen.” -Nicole Denes
You can follow Nicole Denes’ work online at becompleteathletics.com and on Facebook and Instagram @becompleteathletics.
Total Youth Soccer Fitness Program with Erica Suter
Enjoyment is a key part of sticking with sports. Especially for youth athletes, finding happiness and fulfillment in the game is central to wanting to come to practice every day and putting in their best work. This week, coach and blogger Erica Suter shares ideas for helping youth athletes take joy in the process because if they care about playing, they’ll keep coming back.
One of the ways to help kids have fun is letting them explore. More and more, kids are being tracked into playing a single sport in the hopes of going pro or getting a scholarship to college.
But, Suter says, kids are better athletes when they have the flexibility to try new things and grow themselves in different ways. As parents, that could mean letting kids play multiple sports or getting them involved in other routines and skills, like strength and conditioning. “Build the human first,” Suter says. Then, focus on the player.
What You’ll Learn:
* Practice having a growth mindset* Build healthy habits for long-term change* Take breaks to prevent burnout* Set short-term goals* Create a reflection journal
“Now, looking back, I realize I stuck with it and was so serious about every aspect of my training because I enjoyed it. I enjoyed working hard. I enjoyed the game. I enjoyed learning and taking feedback from my coaches. And that’s what I want to permeate onto the athletes I coach now. You have to enjoy it, otherwise you’re not going to stick with it.” -Erica Suter
“I think a lot of parents now think that there’s some magical fix and their kid’s going to be better overnight, or they’re going to get that scholarship without any real work, but it really is a process, like anything.” -Erica Suter
“Yes, we’re all competitive and we have a lot of fire, but we need to have fun while we’re doing it, too.” -Erica Suter
“I almost expect failure because then it’s not as much of a shock. Failure is inevitable, so as long as I expect that’s part of the process, I’m going to be fine. The worst thing that happens is I fail and I hit it and go in a new direction.” -Erica Suter
“Build the human first. Make sure the human is strong and can move. And then work on the player.” -Erica Suter
You can follow Erica Suter on Twitter @fitsoccerqueen and on her blog at https://ericasuter.com/blog/. You can find out more about Total Youth Soccer Fitness online at https://ericasuter.com/total-youth-soccer-fitness/.