“I love to watch you play.”
I was reading two articles on Hands Free Mama, that focused on saying “hurry up”and the important thing about yelling. Later on in the day, I saw an article, “Mora handles UCLA with care” on Facebook about UCLA football coach, Jim Mora, posted by Proactive Coaching with the status “Love this perspective…coach like you are a parent – parent like you are a coach”
Let me step back a moment. I first read Hands Free Mama when a friend posted this article, “Six Words You Should Say Today” and I started using it immediately. I was amazed at how well it worked. Her article was based on one she read titled “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent–And What Makes a Great One” that featured a survey by Proactive Coaching founders, Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller. I share these articles each season with the parents of my athletes. It is the first thing I say to my kids when they do any scheduled or impromptu performance. And it works, the words always bring a smile to their faces and generally earns me a hug.
I started thinking about my own coaching and parenting and I realized I wasn’t doing as good as a job as I hoped. In some ways, this was good and other ways it was very bad. I needed to be more like the coach I was at practice at home and more like the parent at practice.
I will admit, I yell at my kids too much. They are just kids trying to figure things out for themselves. And they shouldn’t be faulted for that. But I took a deeper look at why I yell. Mostly it is because I see my faults reappearing in them and I was doing what I thought was the best way for me to stop it from becoming a habit. I realized yelling at them isn’t going to necessarily keep the habit from forming, it is just going to make them fear me. Something I do not want to occur. If I want to help them do things differently, I need to change and set a better example for them. It can be uplifting or scary and sad when I hear them talk to each other, because it sounds just like the way I talk to them. Sometimes they are very loving and other times, not so much. I need to be better about how I communicate with and to them. The great thing is that I realize this and am challenging myself to improve which will keep me on task.
Using the Tools I Have
I need to create a better balance. My team probably has too much flexibility and needs more discipline, while I need to give my children some of that flexibility. It will help to greater fill my kids with hope and the courage to follow their dreams. I don’t want them to have a worry about making mistakes for the fear of the yelling. Mistakes are a part of life. Everyone makes them and it is often how we learn. They need to see their greatness and that they can do anything they put their minds too. It won’t be easy all the time, but the effort will be worth it. And that same thought process goes for me. Let’s face it, yelling is easy. It is shortcut I was using to fixing the problem of me. Changing my bad habits is hard, but necessary if I want the best for my children and my family. Ultimately, by me making changes we all will win in the short and long run of life.
Forever Moments and the Main Thing
I want my kids to have epic childhoods and create “Forever Moments” every day. And we continually work towards that. But some days, I fall short. As I tell my team, I need to continue to strengthen what I do well, while improving my weaknesses. I know, deep down, that I can do it. And I made great progress on it this weekend. I just need to keep getting better each day and continue to be in the moment. As Stephen Covey said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” And for me, the Main Thing is my family.