I hear this complaint from parents quite often: 

“She says he wants to get to the next level but when I remind him he needs to run, lift weights or do drills, she says he’s tired or has to do homework or some other excuse.”


Why do they say this?

Stop preaching and nagging your athlete. Instead, start INSPIRING them.

Think about this, when Wayne Gretzky was a boy, nobody had to remind him to work on his game. He did it out of sheer love, drive, and desire for the game. He would practice 4-5 hours a day, every day as a kid!

Stop preaching and nagging your athlete. Start INSPIRING them.

Parents, this is what you want to foster in your child. Don’t be an authoritarian punishment-based helicopter-parent pushing.

How do you do that?

By being expressive and positive about what your kid does well and asking for permission for how to best support him.

Instead of:

“Cindy, you need to make sure you run 5 miles this week like the coach said.”

You would say:

“Cindy, I just love it when I see you running and training to reach your dreams. You don’t know how good that makes me feel when you tell me you are going to practice.”

Instead of:

“Mike, you’ve got to work harder than everyone else if you want to get a D1 scholarship.”

Try this:

“Mike, it is going to be so exciting for you when you are playing at the D1 level. I can’t wait to see you there being cheered on by a huge crowd….”

Get your kid to buy into the reality of their dream to feel it like you can. Paint the picture for them and inspire them to achieve it.

If your young athlete has told you about a goal like that, then talk to them like it’s a done deal that they are going to achieve it. HELP them OWN their goals and become passionate about it! That’s how they will create their own motivation to give 100% in training and practice. Ultimately, it’s got to come from within and not from you.

Push more with INSPIRATION

It’s okay to push them only if: 

If you really think that your child responds better to the “pushing” then ASK them how and when it would be appropriate to support them that way.

If you’re pushing them and they don’t want it, then it’s YOUR goal, not theirs.

Balance out the “pushing with more INSPIRATION” and see how much more powerful your influence can be.

I’m Craig Sigl,
your mental toughness trainer