That's Good Parenting

077 How to be the Super Sports Fan Parent that Your Kids Love to Talk to with Eric Stevenson

January 11, 2024 Dori Durbin Season 3 Episode 77
077 How to be the Super Sports Fan Parent that Your Kids Love to Talk to with Eric Stevenson
That's Good Parenting
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That's Good Parenting
077 How to be the Super Sports Fan Parent that Your Kids Love to Talk to with Eric Stevenson
Jan 11, 2024 Season 3 Episode 77
Dori Durbin

Send us a Text Message.

Listen to this episode, "How to be the Super Sports Fan Parent that Your Kids Love to Talk to with Eric Stevenson"  as  Licensed Practicing Counselor & Certified Mental Performance Coach, Eric Stevenson joins Dori Durbin.

We are our kids' BEST fans, right? Or rather we think we are. But, parenting your athletes can come with many stressful challenges. On this episode, licensed counselor  and and Certified Mental Performance Coach, Eric Stevenson shares simple parenting steps for teaching athletes self-confidence and resilience  while preserving positive family relationships. Learn common parenting pitfalls to avoid and strategies to help without enabling or creating anxiety. Learn about the  “ask, suggest, ask” method, athletes and injuries, perfectionism and much more!  Don't miss this episode so that you can strengthen family bonds while encouraging your athletes! Eric shares:

  • Getting too involved
  • The 24 hour rule 
  • Validate don't "fix"  
  • Explore the quit
  • Keep Involved while injured
  • Small daily goals for big achievements
  • Use verbs to describe your athletes 
  • Use "ask, suggest, ask" feedback 

Eric's Freebie:
Sport Parenting Reference Guide

About Eric:
Eric is a Licensed Practicing Counselor and Certified Mental Performance Coach though the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.  Eric works with individuals, both athletes and non athletes, improving their mental health (anxiety, depression, mood disorders), and sports performance (performance anxiety, injuries, anger, confidence).

Follow Eric:

Did you love this episode? Discover more here:

More about Dori Durbin:
Dori Durbin is a Christian wife, mom, author, illustrator, and a kids’ book coach who after experiencing a life-changing illness, quickly switched gears to follow her dream. She creates kids’ books to provide a fun and safe passageway for kids and parents to dig deeper and experience empowered lives. Dori also coaches non-fiction authors, professionals, and aspiring authors to “kid-size” their content into informational and engaging kids’ books! Find out more here:

Buy Dori's Kids' Books:

Thinking about writing a kids' book?  Book a Chat with Dori:

Leave Me a Voice Mail:

Intro for TDP (version 2)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Listen to this episode, "How to be the Super Sports Fan Parent that Your Kids Love to Talk to with Eric Stevenson"  as  Licensed Practicing Counselor & Certified Mental Performance Coach, Eric Stevenson joins Dori Durbin.

We are our kids' BEST fans, right? Or rather we think we are. But, parenting your athletes can come with many stressful challenges. On this episode, licensed counselor  and and Certified Mental Performance Coach, Eric Stevenson shares simple parenting steps for teaching athletes self-confidence and resilience  while preserving positive family relationships. Learn common parenting pitfalls to avoid and strategies to help without enabling or creating anxiety. Learn about the  “ask, suggest, ask” method, athletes and injuries, perfectionism and much more!  Don't miss this episode so that you can strengthen family bonds while encouraging your athletes! Eric shares:

  • Getting too involved
  • The 24 hour rule 
  • Validate don't "fix"  
  • Explore the quit
  • Keep Involved while injured
  • Small daily goals for big achievements
  • Use verbs to describe your athletes 
  • Use "ask, suggest, ask" feedback 

Eric's Freebie:
Sport Parenting Reference Guide

About Eric:
Eric is a Licensed Practicing Counselor and Certified Mental Performance Coach though the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.  Eric works with individuals, both athletes and non athletes, improving their mental health (anxiety, depression, mood disorders), and sports performance (performance anxiety, injuries, anger, confidence).

Follow Eric:

Did you love this episode? Discover more here:

More about Dori Durbin:
Dori Durbin is a Christian wife, mom, author, illustrator, and a kids’ book coach who after experiencing a life-changing illness, quickly switched gears to follow her dream. She creates kids’ books to provide a fun and safe passageway for kids and parents to dig deeper and experience empowered lives. Dori also coaches non-fiction authors, professionals, and aspiring authors to “kid-size” their content into informational and engaging kids’ books! Find out more here:

Buy Dori's Kids' Books:

Thinking about writing a kids' book?  Book a Chat with Dori:

Leave Me a Voice Mail:

Intro for TDP (version 2)

[00:00:00] Eric Stevenson: What is sports, right? It's Dealing with emotions. It's dealing with not getting your way. It's dealing with uncertainty and anxiety. It's what's life. That's what life is too, right? That's essentially what we're looking at too.

[00:00:11] Eric Stevenson: So if you can learn those skills, Yeah. With sports early on then you could just, you could just refine them and take them into young adulthood as well. 

[00:00:20] Dori Durbin: Participating in a sport can be such an opportunity of growth for kids but it can also be a stressful time for kids who have invested their hearts and bodies in their sport, and it can be stressful for their number one adoring fans, their parents.

[00:00:36] Dori Durbin: So when it comes to parenting your athlete, how do we avoid adding stress to them and us? Luckily for us today, I have a licensed practicing counselor and certified mental performance coach who can help us assess and de stress. Welcome to the show, Eric Stevenson.

[00:00:55] Eric Stevenson: Thank you for having me, Dori. I appreciate it.

[00:00:56] Eric Stevenson: I'm excited to be on and talk to you a little bit about parenting and athletes. That's [00:01:00] what I love to do. 

[00:01:01] Dori Durbin: I love it because I think when you were a parent. Especially when you're first starting off with your kids in sports, you figure it's just gonna be fun, you're gonna be under control, and then you get in there and you get going and cheering for your kid, and all of a sudden, things start happening that you didn't expect. So let me just ask you up front, what is the most common mistake that parents tend to make when parenting their athletes?

[00:01:25] Eric Stevenson: Yeah, it's a great question. And, my answer might sound counterintuitive to this entire podcast, but it's getting too involved, right? I think parents. Like you said, they have their own anxieties, their own wants, their own needs. They want their kids to be happy, to play well, to enjoy it as they should. And a lot of times, there's a sense of potentially over control in that, in, in that category, where parents, kid gets in the car, or kid's not playing well, or kid's unhappy, and mom or dad might try to fix it, right?

[00:01:56] Eric Stevenson: To say, oh, you did fine, you did great. And that's what I always tell my parents, [00:02:00] is the intention behind it is always really good, right? But oftentimes what I hear from my athletes, whether they're in middle school, or high school, or even college is just I wish my parents would just lay off or not ask me about stuff so soon after games like I, I can figure it out myself or it's okay, I can't, I could just be angry sometimes or, complain sometimes.

[00:02:20] Eric Stevenson: So yeah, so I'm gonna give tips along the way during today, but I'd say the number one complaint is getting potentially too involved in their athletes journey as they're learning to explore themselves and their sport and kind of their relationship with the game that they're playing.

[00:02:37] Dori Durbin: It's funny when you put it that way, I had this vision of coming home after work and having a terrible day, and the first thing somebody says is that's not too bad, it could be worse, and I never thought of it from that perspective, so We want to fix everything as soon as they get done.

[00:02:55] Dori Durbin: And that's probably the last thing we need that de stressing time, like you said. 

[00:02:59] Eric Stevenson: Absolutely. I always pose a 24 hour rule with a game, to say, unless they're bringing it up at home, in the car, at the dinner table. Do not impose any questions or comments about their game or about how they played, within 24 hours, because there was a processing time there because sports are very emotional.

[00:03:18] Eric Stevenson: I was an athlete myself through college and there was the emotions I went up and down the roller coaster. There were times where I just didn't want anybody to talk to me, right? Didn't mean it didn't mean it was bad that nobody was talking to me. It's just, I was figuring it out myself or going through it with myself.

[00:03:31] Eric Stevenson: And they're going to be much more in a place to give you better answers or communicate more openly the next day than they are maybe 15 minutes after the game like in the car ride home. 

[00:03:43] Dori Durbin: What if you're a parent who doesn't normally give them that kind of space? Would it be something where you would say, Hey I know you've got to figure this out.

[00:03:51] Dori Durbin: I'm just gonna not say anything till you're ready. Because the mom in me goes, Oh, it sounds like I don't care and I'm not going to ask anything. 

[00:03:58] Eric Stevenson: Of course, going radio silence[00:04:00] might look like you're purposely doing it, right? And your athlete might be like, What you're not saying anything.

[00:04:05] Eric Stevenson: What's did I do something wrong or what's wrong? So when I get a little bit deeper into it, I'll say, Hey. What your role is as a parent is to absolutely pay attention and validate what they're experiencing, right? Cause they know that you see and you know it, right? So if you get in the car and they're bummed out or they're not, they're not playing well it would maybe be like, Hey, you know what I see, you didn't have your best game, or I see that you're not happy with how you play today.

[00:04:30] Eric Stevenson: If you want to talk about it, I'm here. If we want to talk about a different time or not at all, we can do that. Let's go to dinner. Let's go home and work on this. Let's change, change the topic away from sports, away from what's happening in that moment. And sometimes they won't ever bring it up again.

[00:04:45] Eric Stevenson: And sometimes five minutes later, they'll be like, I just don't know what's wrong with me or why that happens. And that's when they're ready to talk. So you'll know when they're ready, but your role is to say, I'm here with you. I acknowledge your frustration. I see it. However. I'm not [00:05:00] going to start the conversation, start to ask any questions, I just want you to know this space is here if you need it.

[00:05:07] Dori Durbin: That's so good and that's probably so different with each age group too because I'm sure you have a young t baller who maybe hasn't ever experienced that before compared to a high schooler who's, knows that this play should have made a big difference in their game.

[00:05:22] Dori Durbin: Their process is quite a bit different too as far as how they're feeling about their 

[00:05:27] Eric Stevenson: own selves. vastly different, right? The experience from a T baller through a high schooler to a major leaguer is going to be completely different. And that's in, where they're at different stages and of course they're at different stages and their experience is different.

[00:05:42] Eric Stevenson: How a parent interacts with them or a coach is going to have to be very different too. So at a younger age, it's a lot about support. It's a lot about growth mindset, learning and join the game where maybe in high school, they will, they're going to want to be a little bit more solution focused to say, Hey you know what, if you want to go see [00:06:00] your coach, if you want to go see your trainer again, or your coach, or you have any ideas, they might feel a little bit better being more solution 17 year old keep your head up, or you'll be fine.

[00:06:10] Eric Stevenson: They're going to be, they're going to sense the inauthenticity and that'd be like, No come on I don't buy that at all, right? So each, of course, each age group is gonna need and look for different things from their parents. 

[00:06:21] Dori Durbin: That's really interesting you brought that up too, 

[00:06:23] Dori Durbin: you want to show that you're proud of your kid for, their efforts and what they're doing. And so you do say that was really great. You did this really well, and you did this really well. And I never thought of it as inauthentic for them, their, in 

[00:06:36] Eric Stevenson: their experience. Yeah, that, that's something that I'll, that's maybe one of the first things that I'm going to talk about with a parent when we're meeting is the intention behind those comments.

[00:06:48] Eric Stevenson: You did great. Keep your head up. You'll get it next time. You didn't do as bad as you thought. The intention is great. You're trying to cheer them up. You're trying to feel better. And maybe there's logic behind that. However, that's not what they're looking for need in [00:07:00] that moment, right?

[00:07:01] Eric Stevenson: You'd be surprised that athletes would rather say, you know what, I wish my mom or dad would just tell me, you know what, you didn't do great today. Like I get it, okay. But what are we going to do about it? Or, what, what do you need from us? And when they sense more of this authenticity to it they'll connect a lot better there as opposed to Being like, Oh, you're just trying to like baby me or support me, which again, on the outside looks helpful, but it's not creating resiliency, right?

[00:07:26] Eric Stevenson: It's not creating a deeper relationship. And it's just create creating this more of a detachment between the athlete and their parent, because the athlete's just I know what they're doing. They're just trying to make me feel good. And I just don't. So it's really about validating the emotion or experiencing and going into it with them, as opposed to saying I know you're sad, but you shouldn't be because you really didn't do that bad.

[00:07:45] Eric Stevenson: It's Oh, tell me, I see you're really frustrated with how you played today. Tell me about that. Like what, what's making you feel this way? What were what are you disappointed with? That's where they want you to go. They want to process it with the parent, talk about their struggle as opposed [00:08:00] to just saying let's just move on from it.

[00:08:03] Dori Durbin:Okay, let   me give you a scenario. 

[00:08:05] Eric Stevenson: I love scenarios. 

[00:08:07] Dori Durbin: So let's say you have an athlete who, let's say they're a basketball player, and they miss a shot, and maybe that shot just dictates how they respond throughout the rest of the game. And you as a parent know that, you can see what's happening, they're literally crumbling in front of you, and you're going to get in the car.

[00:08:28] Dori Durbin: So give us some direction as far as what do we do as a parent? What should we not do? What 

[00:08:33] Eric Stevenson: should we do? Yeah, great point. That's one of the main topics that I see at my office is like when athletes come to me and they say I just spiral, right? Like I, I made a mistake and it led to more mistakes and it just, I lost my confidence.

[00:08:50] Eric Stevenson: I lost my belief in myself and it all just went poorly. So that's a whole nother conversation. Because that's one of the biggest questions I get is, Eric, how do I get out of a slump? How [00:09:00] do I get out of my funk, right? That I can, if you'd I could get into that. But as a parent really what your role is and what I'm doing, and you can take what a, what a mental coach would do and implement or, carry over those skills is there's no fixing, right? There's no just like this positive mindset that we hear a lot in pop psychology and especially in sports psychologists. Because when I was an athlete, I would say, just, you got to just see it happening or you got to believe in yourself or you got to just move on to the next one.

[00:09:30] Eric Stevenson: And when I tried those things that didn't work when I was like, Oh, I'll get it next time or I'll get over it. But my brain we know the, our brains love authenticity, right? So if the brain's will you get it next time? I don't know, you messed up this time, right?

[00:09:43] Eric Stevenson: So the research says being positive gives us slight increase in confidence, which it should, right? Positive self talk, positive imagery. However, if you inject positivity into your mind, And then you fail once again, shortly, now you're going to go that didn't work.

[00:09:59] Eric Stevenson: So [00:10:00] now I'm really lost. And then the negativity spins out even more. So back to your question. It's what can parents do? So what I would teach an athlete to do in that moment, right? Is to, I'm not teaching positive mindset. I'm teaching flexible mindset. So what I teach is be objective, right?

[00:10:18] Eric Stevenson: What's the fact of the situation? The fact is you missed the shot. It didn't go in. The fact is you're not playing well today. Okay. Now pretending that's not true or pretending you can just snap your fingers and turn that around like on a will is unrealistic. And I think a lot of athletes say if I just get into this mindset or just will my way to play better.

[00:10:39] Eric Stevenson: I can well show me any evidence that proves that and I would love to see that and I'll teach that for sure. But the fact is, that's just not the case, right? The case is you have to be objective. So you know what? Maybe you know what? You didn't make the shot or I didn't make the shot and I can still play confidently, right?

[00:10:58] Eric Stevenson: I didn't make the shot and [00:11:00] I can still take good shots. It's not, I'm going to make the next shot. Cause that's a result, right? We can't control results. It's one of the biggest, the one Oh one in sports psychology is control what you can control. So we can control taking good shots. You can control playing freely.

[00:11:16] Eric Stevenson: You can control your way you communicate. You can control your attitude, but you can't really control whether you make the shot or not, whether you feel good or not, whether you're cut, this is stuff that's more out of our control. So parents can then reinforce that in the car. It's okay, so what you didn't make the shot.

[00:11:30] Eric Stevenson: And now what and now what can you do? What is going to help you? Because. They're maybe feeling bummed out in the car, ? They're feeling like they've let down their team, that they look bad in front of their coaches, in front of all the people watching. Again, back to what we just spoke, not a time to fix, 

[00:11:46] Eric Stevenson: not a time to invalidate their experience or emotions, right? It's again, more of the intention where we started is to, I got to help them feel better. I got to help them get over this mistake they made. [00:12:00] No, same thing is do less, to say, Hey, you know what? I know I could see you're bummed out that you missed that shot.

[00:12:04] Eric Stevenson: And you know what? Didn't play so well. If you know what, if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If not, we can talk about another time. It's back to that. It's Oh no, like they're so upset. They let the team down. How do I know? Do I take them for ice cream? Do I talk, do I change the topic? Do we, what do we do?

[00:12:21] Eric Stevenson: What do we do? And it's, again, it's you know what? Taking shot, missing a shot and letting the team down is a very important experience for athletes to have, because the data suggests that. Athletes get better through error and failure, and this is why perfectionism is a very unhelpful strategy.

[00:12:41] Eric Stevenson: So when an athlete has error or failure, either technically or cognitively, it's a very fertile time for the brain to learn from it, right? To say, Oh, okay guess what? I can take a shot and miss and let everybody down. And I still survived. And, nobody made fun of [00:13:00] me or it wasn't as bad as I thought.

[00:13:02] Eric Stevenson: So then the fear the next time they have the shot or the next time they play a game is not going to be as, as high because when you say, Oh my gosh, you feel bad about it. We need to fix it. You're highlighting the discrepancy saying how you feel is inappropriate and we need to fix it. So then when they feel fear or they feel down, now they're thinking something's wrong with them because I shouldn't feel this way.

[00:13:25] Eric Stevenson: I shouldn't feel this way. When it's no, that is a great experience. You made mistakes. You didn't play well. You missed some shots. You let your team down. They'll go, they'll figure it out. They'll they'll venture through that experience on their own.

[00:13:38] Eric Stevenson: And your your role as a parent is, of course to not fix to not invalidate, and then to not be like, okay we need to go home and work on that shot for the next hour because then that's just tying their identity more to the sport, to saying it is not good to miss shots it is a negative, therefore, we need to correct correct, and this is when kids burn out, they [00:14:00] quit, the amount of kids I have that want to quit their sports at 13, 14, 15 is staggering and it's, but it's not surprising because the pressure of their happiness tied to their performance is too closely related. And if they're not performing well. And they're not, then they're not going to be happy.

[00:14:18] Eric Stevenson: And if they're not happy, they're going to be like, why do I want to, do I want to keep going to practice? Do I want to keep going to these games? I don't think so. And then they start questioning whether they want to, quit or continue. 

[00:14:29] Dori Durbin: Yeah. Now you've given me so many more questions. Okay.

[00:14:33] Dori Durbin: Following along that same line of thought, I guess question number one would be, let's say they've got a coach who's very intense and they just can't please this coach. There's no, absolutely no pleasing them. Even if they had a great game, there's still no pleasing them.

[00:14:47] Dori Durbin: And then secondly, if they've gotten to that point where they're burnt out, they're dissatisfied with how they're performing and they just are thinking about quitting, do we let them like what do we do as parents? When do you [00:15:00] decide that it's okay for them to step away from it? 

[00:15:04] Eric Stevenson: Yeah. Yeah. Really good question.

[00:15:06] Eric Stevenson: So quitting is a really touchy topic because it's not always the wrong choice, right? It certainly can be for some athletes. However, if I have a parent and they say, Oh, my son or daughter, they want to quit or this athlete tells me, I think I want to quit. I go, okay, so I almost do an assessment with them to see, okay what's behind that, right?

[00:15:27] Eric Stevenson: Because if it's, I'm just more interested in other things or other sports or what, there's nothing wrong with the sport, like I was happy what it was and by all means it's a discussion to have for sure. But if the quitting is rooted in, I don't like my coach or my coach doesn't like me.

[00:15:45] Eric Stevenson: If the quitting is rooted in, there's just too much pressure. I have, stomach aches and I feel sick all the time going to practice. That's that's potentially not a good reason to quit. Or, I don't like my teammates, or my teammates don't like me. Not a [00:16:00] great reason to quit. Or, I'm just not good and I just let everybody down.

[00:16:04] Eric Stevenson: And, like, why would I want to continue to do something I'm not good at? These are all, if it's any of those Particular reasons I'll be sure to explore that deeper because those are things that can be treated in a sense, right? We can change our mindset and philosophy on those certain aspects because a lot of times

[00:16:25] Eric Stevenson: nobody likes to feel uncomfortable, right? I'm sure you would know as well as I do. If we're uncomfortable, what does our brain want to do? It wants to escape as fast as possible. Fight or flight. So hey, you know what? Let's flight this team. Let's flight this this sport, whatever it is, because I'm uncomfortable, 

[00:16:43] Eric Stevenson: and what we know is quitting because you're uncomfortable, unconfident, or you have these cognitive distortions about your coach, your teammates, is not helpful because that's going to be the same individual when they're 24. They're at a job for three months and they're like, [00:17:00] nobody supports me. I don't like this.

[00:17:01] Eric Stevenson: I'm out of here. And it's the, and they're just escaping the discomfort of the situation as opposed to working through it, working through it. And that is that's why I think sports is an awesome concept for real life, it expedites the emotions and experiences that they're going to have as they get into young adulthood and adulthood.

[00:17:22] Eric Stevenson: So it's Oh, you know what? Okay, this coach doesn't like me, or I don't feel confident here. I'm really nervous about how I'm going to perform. Awesome. Like these are really great breeding grounds to train something that's going to benefit them tenfold years down the road.

[00:17:36] Eric Stevenson: So quitting is a very touchy subject, but understand, if you're a parent and, you hear the word, the Q word if they'll call it, right? Explore that. Find out what it's about. Because oftentimes it's probably not what you think, or they're not, maybe they're shameful, or embarrassed, or feel like they're weak, they don't want to tell you exactly what it is but have a conversation right [00:18:00] now phrases like, Whoa no, you're not quitting you're going to stay out, you're going to, you already committed to this, you're staying, or no, don't be a quitter oh, you're so talented, why would you want to quit, right?

[00:18:10] Eric Stevenson: These are often phrases I'll hear parents refer to it, but if you hear it, it's like, Whoa, that's a powerful word. Oh, you're not you don't want to play anymore. You want to try something else. That's, interesting. Tell me what's, where's that coming from?

[00:18:23] Eric Stevenson: What's that about? And they might not know and say do you get nervous or do you not like somebody on the team or what's your relationship with coach or how do you feel about your own? Do you feel like you're good enough? And you'll if you just start asking these open ended questions.

[00:18:38] Eric Stevenson: You'll start to get more to the source of where that quitting idea is coming from. But again be sure to not, don't quit, or you committed, or you're so talented, or you just had a hard practice, or you don't want to, you don't, that's, you're, you don't know what you're talking about.

[00:18:54] Eric Stevenson: And again, they might use that word. vEry just sporadically. Oh, I'm so bad. I'm gonna quit. [00:19:00] But I think it's something to take, to take very seriously and to have that conversation. And again, get in their world to figure out what is the motive behind that?

[00:19:07] Eric Stevenson: Because if you typically find that and then if you say, Hey, I'm gonna team up with you and we what if we worked on that? What if I helped you find somebody who helped you with your anxiety? What if I helped you find a trainer that refined your skills? What if I, what if we went and talked to coach?

[00:19:23] Eric Stevenson: Then when that problem gets solved that they don't want to deal with, they would rather escape it. Because it's uncomfortable when that concern or problem gets met with some sort of involvement, then they'll feel like, okay, you know what, me and mom and dad, we went and talked to coach, there was a misunderstanding.

[00:19:40] Eric Stevenson: We're on the same page now coaches still hard but I see where they're coming from. Okay, I'll still play. So it's really getting into the ground roots of where's that coming from, and then I'm, we're here for you to help, help you through it. I love 

[00:19:55] Dori Durbin: that you're tying it to the whole outside world too [00:20:00] because again, you have a boss who So maybe you have an argument with or a co worker that you have an argument with, you don't just get up and leave, you try to work through some of those processes, or you have a spouse you get in an argument with, you're not just going to go walking out the door, hopefully.

[00:20:13] Dori Durbin: And so that tie with sports and being on a team and being responsible to follow that is really important 

[00:20:20] Eric Stevenson: too. Definitely. I think behind the curtain I think the athletes that I see is okay, we're working on sports, but I think parents know, there's a lot of skills being learned in these sessions that, might help them play a little better for, the rest of middle school or high school but wow, they're really going to help them as they face adversity into their adult life.

[00:20:41] Eric Stevenson: Now 

[00:20:41] Dori Durbin: you touched on this just a little bit. Let's say I'm a parent who is recognizing a lot of what we're talking about. How do I, as a parent decide that my child really needs extra help outside of what I can offer? 

[00:20:53] Eric Stevenson: Yeah, that's a really good question. So even in therapy or counseling if we're going to diagnose somebody, okay, [00:21:00] because I'll have clients say, Oh, can I, can you help me get rid of my anxiety?

[00:21:03] Eric Stevenson: And I'm like, No, you don't want me to get rid of anxiety, because then you'll just do things, all sorts of things that put your life in danger. So I'm like, anxiety is in everybody, right? We all have anxiety. Everybody has anxiety. And that's when people that, oh, I have anxiety. It's yeah, we all do.

[00:21:16] Eric Stevenson: But do you have diagnosable anxiety disorder, right? Do you have generalized anxiety? Do you have social phobia? Do you have performance anxiety? And what that criteria is as a counselor to say, okay, Does it affect their sleep, right? Does it affect their relationships? Does it affect their schoolwork or their job, right?

[00:21:34] Eric Stevenson: Does it affect the way they eat? Does it affect their happiness or mood? So when it starts checking the boxes of being of more of a disorder, that's how we say, Oh, okay. Yes, you have anxiety, but your anxiety is also diagnosable because of the intensity of the symptoms, because of the frequency of the symptoms and the inten and the duration of the symptoms.

[00:21:55] Eric Stevenson: For a parent that might be asking how do we know when it's time,[00:22:00] to get more help ? I think that's, there isn't necessarily a check box indicator, like there might be for diagnosing or treating an individual. I think it's a family's decision, or you might have to say, they're having more bad days than good days, right? Or yeah, they're getting frustrated, but the meltdowns are way beyond the level of the triggers, ? In a sense, it's okay, hey, they made a mistake. They struck out, they missed the shot, but they cry and cry for a long period of time, ?

[00:22:28] Eric Stevenson: Or they want to quit right away. Or, they're very irritable or fighting with their siblings or with you. Or if they're, if you notice that they're starting to. Make excuse like I don't really want to go to practice today or I don't know. I'm don't feel good I don't want to go to the game right now.

[00:22:44] Eric Stevenson: We're indicating. Okay, maybe there's anxiety here is becoming more of a concern So if they're trying to avoid anything if they're oh if they're having these overly emotional reactions to things as well or if they're losing interest in there's you know, the sport that they've been playing [00:23:00] Those are pretty surefire indicators that maybe it's time to seek a little bit more help because that's why I have also have a mental health license is because I can talk about sports and know how to, play better, but an athlete who's not playing well, or an athlete who wants to play well so badly will typically deal with or experience some mental health Symptoms along the way as well, and that's why it's super important to understand both.

So when you see your clients, typically what is their. primary reason 

[00:23:37] Dori Durbin: that they're coming to see you. It sounds like it's not just sports. It can be counseling. It's a mix.

[00:23:42] Eric Stevenson: It is a mix, right? Like you said, I'm a licensed clinical practicing counselor. So I see a range of anxieties. mood disorders, depression, OCD, right? Not all of my clients are specifically athletes. However, I'd say a majority of them are and some of them are athletes and we don't [00:24:00] even talk about sports, right?

[00:24:00] Eric Stevenson: We talk about depression or we talk about their family or their friends at school or school itself. I think being a former athlete and being somebody who specializes the athletes sometimes is just more comforting for an individual to go. See, as opposed to somebody that doesn't understand them or their sport or the pressures with it, right?

[00:24:18] Eric Stevenson: So yes, there's just that mental health aspect of it. And then it's also tied into the sports performance, the sports concerns like Common ones are going to be common ones on the mental health side are generalized anxiety, social anxiety, depression, anger. Okay. And then on the sports performance side, it's going to be performance anxiety.

[00:24:42] Eric Stevenson: It's going to be dealing with injuries, fear of injuries or post injury. It's going to be dealing with mistakes or frustration, confidence so all along those are typically the main four that I'm going to, perfectionism is a big one as well, I [00:25:00] don't want to leave that out. Those are probably the main five that I'm going to see from my athletes with sports performance and then those are the other four or five that we're going to see with mental health and there's typically an overlap with almost every individual I see.

[00:25:15] Dori Durbin: Let me ask you also 

[00:25:17] Dori Durbin: when looking at parents most of us are probably more involved early and I would expect by high school kids are going in, talking to their coaches on their own, As they get older, where should they be looking for advice and direction as far as making these decisions that they're really deciding on themselves? Let's say they're gonna play in college or they're gonna play beyond that. How do we help them to find 

[00:25:38] Eric Stevenson: those people?

[00:25:39] Eric Stevenson: Absolutely. I think you're we can agree that as kids get into teenage years, what parents say is in one ear out the other, right? You're not necessarily that role model or, you're there supporting, you're there loving, but the kids are not necessarily going to adhere to your advice per se, even if it's the best.[00:26:00] 

[00:26:00] Eric Stevenson: They're going to just naturally want to detach. So your role, as a parent is to make sure that they're set up with these correct. Role models or comfort people to go to and a coach is a really good one. I think that's how the one for teachers are awesome.

[00:26:14] Eric Stevenson: Surprisingly they'll take a lot of information from their friend's parents, right? They'll listen to their friend's parents more than even their own at times. Just adhering, different advice. Even if they have a if they're in college, if they're a college athlete, encouraging them day one to set up meetings with the a counselor that's on campus or a sports counselor.

[00:26:37] Eric Stevenson: A lot of schools now have sports counselors. They're counselors, but they only work with the athletic department. That can be really helpful as well because having that guidance, having that correct guidance when you're, an adolescent. That it's not about parents anymore. It's I'm learning from my coaches.

[00:26:55] Eric Stevenson: I'm learning, right? Whether it's, it can be some of my clients tell me their best, [00:27:00] the people that they connect with the best. Are , they're weightlifting trainers. Are there specialized coaches and their skills that they're doing? They're hitting coach, they're shooting coach, they're throwing, they're running coach, whatever it might be.

[00:27:11] Eric Stevenson: It's yeah, I go to the gym and work out, but that's, but also that's who I talked to about all my family. That's who I talked to. So I think we, it doesn't necessarily matter. What that person's role is, I think, as a parent to say, you know what, okay, you want a trainer or somebody to help you with this, go talk to that person get to know that person, see what their take is, because that's who your kid is going to talk a lot about their life, about their day, because, whether, you worked out with somebody and you start talking about, like, how are things going, how are things with life, how are things going with parents, that's where they're going to get a lot of their insight and Drive from is just those role models.

[00:27:45] Eric Stevenson: Almost doing a mini interview of their trainers, of their coaches teachers, whatever it is. And then help guide your athlete in that direction. 

[00:27:53] Dori Durbin: Yeah. I remember in college, I think my one sole confident was that. Physical therapist. Yeah. [00:28:00] Absolutely. 

[00:28:00] Eric Stevenson: There are a lot.

[00:28:02] Dori Durbin: Speaking about injury from your perspective and treatment we know unfortunately as parents, and maybe we don't wanna admit it, but we know that sport equals injury at some point.

[00:28:13] Dori Durbin: And so how do we help our kids? Beyond that injury and what should we expect if our kids get injured? How do we handle that 

[00:28:21] Eric Stevenson: process? Yeah, and injuries are quite the difficult conversation. I've worked with, I've worked with athletes who get injured and they have to miss a big game. Tough. Then they get injured and they're out for the year.

[00:28:33] Eric Stevenson: Maybe it's their junior year. It's a big year. College is going to be looking at them, or maybe it's the year the team was going on a big trip. They have, they don't get to play tough. And then I've seen athletes who are teenagers who are told you are no longer able to play this for the rest of your life.

[00:28:47] Eric Stevenson: That's a different conversation, right? So there's different stages of injury. And yes, if your athlete is playing a sport there's different injuries, maybe golf is going to have less injuries than football. We just, that's just the two [00:29:00] statistics, right? Or they might be different.

[00:29:01] Eric Stevenson: Okay. But more than likely they're gonna, they're gonna face injury, ? Whether, and they're gonna miss some time, they're gonna miss out and there's going to be a psychological component that comes with that, whether that's returning to sport, right? Am I going to be what I was before? Am I going to be safe?

[00:29:16] Eric Stevenson: Am I going to get hurt again? These are some really big questions that come up. So as a parent, what you can initially do is, when your athlete gets injured you want to be sure to keep them involved, right? That's step one. So whatever that might look like to say, okay, hey, we're going to talk to your doctor or your physical therapist.

[00:29:36] Eric Stevenson: We're going to set goals, right? So you almost you want them to feel like they're involved because the amount of athletes I've seen get injured, quit the sport, and then their life goes a different direction is mind blowing, right? And it's Oh, I can't do this anymore. Because sports are so strong and keeping kids on a good track, keeping them involved with people, keeping them feeling as though they're a part of something that they have [00:30:00] competency with something.

[00:30:01] Eric Stevenson: But when an athlete gets injured and they want to just I'm not really part of the team anymore, or I don't really need to go to practice. It's no, it's how do we stay involved? What are small things you can do to help the coaches? What are your goals with therapy with coming? Back, right? Almost changing their mindset from, okay, here's what I was working on sports, but now my mindset is on the specific, whether it's like icing or recovery or physical therapy or just going to practice and supporting the team, going to the games, right?

[00:30:32] Eric Stevenson: Supporting team. Taking the stats being, sitting next to the coach, learning from the coach, working. This is a great time to work on the mental game, right? Now this is a really good time. We can talk about meditation and focus and mindset and dealing with all these different aspects, right?

[00:30:47] Eric Stevenson: It's there's a silver lining to it. With that being said, we have to keep in mind that it's a loss the athlete is feeling as though they've lost something a piece of themselves, so grief will come into play. An athlete goes through the five stages of grief, just like we [00:31:00] if we lose a loved one, right?

[00:31:01] Eric Stevenson: It's I can't believe I'm got hurt, right? You'll see professional athletes get hurt. And they'll slam their fists on the ground because they know I'm done. This is it. Either, I don't know if this is this year, or next two years, or forever, but they're angry because they know that this moment just changed their lives.

[00:31:17] Eric Stevenson: If I work with a client who maybe lost a grandparent, Or a parent and I'm working with a client who can no longer play their sport. The sessions look very similar because we're dealing with grief. We're dealing with loss. We need to process it with that individual talk, just talk about it with them.

[00:31:31] Eric Stevenson: It's not again, definitely not a time to fix. You'll be fine. You'll get over it. You'll heal. You'll right. Not a good time. Because in that very moment, the kids in physical pain they're certainly as well in mental pain as well, because they feel like they let their team down, they're going to miss out.

[00:31:46] Eric Stevenson: You're there as a parent to absolutely support to keep them involved to keep them to keep them on track and simply just to process it with them. And there's going to be frustration, especially depends on how serious injury is, with the rehab [00:32:00] process. I'm not getting better.

[00:32:01] Eric Stevenson: It's not working. And then when the recovery does happen, and they're ready to come back exploring if they bring it up. Those exploring those fears that they might have to say I don't know I don't know if I can go 100 percent or I don't know if I can do this and how you treat that is saying, Oh, you know what, it's okay to feel like you, you're not ready, even if the doctor's you know what, your knee stronger than it was last year, you're good to go.

[00:32:24] Eric Stevenson: Okay. The doctor might tell you that, but the kid leaves the office is I don't believe you. I don't know about that because last time I did this, okay. I dislocated my, or I tore my ACL. So as a parent, you say the doctor said you're good go for it. It's not that easy, right? It's not, right?

[00:32:38] Eric Stevenson: We have, I have gymnasts that fall off a balance beam and expecting them to just get up and go again is crazy. It's no, if you fall and get hurt. Our brains are wired to say, maybe that wasn't a good idea. Now I'm going to make you think a little bit harder about this. Because our brains are designed to keep us alive, not to thrive, okay?

[00:32:54] Eric Stevenson: With that, when the, if the kid's a little bit fearful coming back to sport, you say, oh, You know what? [00:33:00] That's completely normal that you're a little hesitant. How about this? How about we set up 10 goals and we go one little small thing at a time? How about we start with jogging slowly? How about we shuffle a little bit?

[00:33:09] Eric Stevenson: How about we go 50, 50 percent of practice or we talk to the coach, talk with the athlete and just like exposure or gradual therapy. You just get them a little bit more comfortable, a little bit more comfortable until they're like, okay, you know what? I do have trust in this knee. I do have trust in my shoulder.

[00:33:26] Eric Stevenson: I think I'm going to be okay. It's not put your pads on and go hit. It's okay. Put your pads on and just, you know what? Hit yourself a little bit or we'll, we'll hit it to something like, okay, it's scary, but okay. It didn't break again and you just get a little bit stronger. So definitely support in that process, take it slow, build up.

[00:33:43] Eric Stevenson: One of my first jobs was working with a gymnast who experienced, major falls. So that process of helping them get back on the, on the beam, like actually that process of helping them get back up there some of these athletes were exceptionally talented, very high [00:34:00] level.

[00:34:00] Eric Stevenson: And then they were afraid, to do a cartwheel or round off like after they come back. And it's no, you were able to do it before. Just go do it. No, it's okay. What are you comfortable with today? Let's go. Let's try that. And then let's make sure that we are moving up the ladder. That's really 

[00:34:15] Dori Durbin: a lot of knowing where they're at and not progressing them beyond where they're 

[00:34:19] Eric Stevenson: comfortable.

[00:34:20] Eric Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely, because then there's a setback because then if they start like stalling or talking out or they don't want to do it or they hesitate then we know injuries are more likely to happen again, when there's any sort of hesitation or uncertainty. So moving too fast is certainly something we want to be careful with.

[00:34:40] Dori Durbin: That's great advice. I think from the parent perspective when time goes by, we get worried and so then you start to think, Oh, no, I've got to get this working.

[00:34:48] Dori Durbin: It's got to happen for them again, even just with functionality, but what I'm hearing you say is, they're not going to move, And they're going to actually regress if we keep pushing hard 

[00:34:57] Eric Stevenson: on them. Yes. That's [00:35:00] what the brain's supposed to do, right? It's supposed to second guess that the injury, right?

[00:35:04] Eric Stevenson: It's injuries are not what, is good for the body or mind. And the brain's going to be like I don't know about this again. So it's just working through that stage and process again until that comfort comes back.

[00:35:15] Dori Durbin: I have two questions left and I appreciate all the time that you've given us so far.

[00:35:19] Dori Durbin: One of my questions was. Let's say you have an athlete who really has these big goals, and whether they're realistic or not , maybe they're young enough, we just don't even know. How, do I encourage them to go after the goals, but be realistic enough that they're not trying to do something that maybe physically they're just not going to live up to,

[00:35:40] Eric Stevenson: Yeah, definitely. I see athletes come in and their goal, let's say it's to win a state championship, but they barely made the team, right? It's of course, my own biases. He's in my mind are going to go. That's not a great goal. Like you barely made the team. That's not very realistic.

[00:35:57] Eric Stevenson: But we have to keep in mind to say, wait a minute.[00:36:00] It's not in our jurisdiction to say what their goals should be or shouldn't be. Especially with youth athletes. And all the way up through high school, even college, for sakes, it's let them dream big. Absolutely. , but what I do, and this is what I do , we have outcome goals and process goals, is say, okay, great, your goal is to dot, and it's apparent you might be thinking, that's not really realistic I don't know about that oh, I want to be the next Michael Jordan, it's you're only going to be like 5'7 and it's not for us to say maybe you should pick something else, no, because the learning curve within that skill is saying, okay it's, this is the goal that you set out for great.

[00:36:36] Eric Stevenson: That's wonderful. Okay. But just putting that into the ether or just saying this is my goal doesn't make it happen. So when I say, okay, Hey, you want to win state? Okay. What do you need to do to win state? I need to win a lot of games or matches. Okay. How do you win games and matches? By playing well.

[00:36:52] Eric Stevenson: Okay. How do you play well by being skilled or being mentally ready or being physically ready. Okay. How do we do? How do we improve [00:37:00] skill? How do you improve your mindset? How do you improve your nutrition? Your sleep? SO , we just break it down to the bare bones to say, okay if you want to win state, it looks like tonight you have to put your phone down and go to sleep earlier.

[00:37:12] Eric Stevenson: And they're just like maybe I don't know if I want to do this goal anymore. But I'm like no, this is what you've said. This is your goal. Then you've broken down all of the steps to get there. And it's, importance of sleep and recovery is one of them. And you tell me, you stay up till one in the morning or you're, you're not sleeping well, then.

[00:37:28] Eric Stevenson: If you want to start today here's, here you go. Here's how we lay it out for you. So within this, you're saying, great, I'm supporting that with you. Let's do it. I love it, but let's be realistic about it. Here's how you get there.

[00:37:42] Eric Stevenson: What are the process goals? So professional athletes, right? Their goal might be, they might have these outcome goals of when this or that, but their goal is my goal is eight hours of sleep at night. My goal is. This amount of grams of protein a day, my goal is this is what I want, my output of, energy [00:38:00] to be like, cause they say, if I meet these goals every day, then over the course of a year or two years, three years, that byproduct goal, that outcome goal that I have, down the road becomes a lot more attainable, but it's becoming, Hey, what's the goal today.

[00:38:16] Eric Stevenson: That you need to hit in order to reach that goal at the end of the year, next year and 10 years that you want. So it's a super good teaching moment for your children to say, okay, hey, here are these goals. Okay let's break it down and let's focus on these small goals. And then if they're not doing these things, if they're not practicing, if they're not sleeping, sleeping well, if they're not doing the right things that's a good time to say, Oh it's not a time to criticize, but time to say, Oh, I'm curious I know this is what was your goal, but doesn't seem like you're adhering to the goals you set for yourself.

[00:38:48] Eric Stevenson: I didn't set these for you. So you want to make them like accountable to their own actions. I'm curious, Are you sure this is what you really want? Because I'm seeing that you're not still, doing the things you set out that you need to do. [00:39:00] And this is right, this is now when, 11 year old, 12 year old starts to to learn oh okay, how to achieve something I want actually takes commitment, a plan, consistency with something that, will get me to where I want to go because we're in a world where results.

[00:39:17] Eric Stevenson: are misguided, right? It seems like it comes easier. If I just do this one lesson, or if I just get this one piece of equipment, we think results can be bought or can be trained, whatever it might be, but it's no different than it was years ago. And I think a lot of times, athletes I work with are confused. AnD here's why a lot of times younger athletes don't do the small things is because Even if they do them, the result is still not guaranteed. The goal is guaranteed and a big fear of athletes or people, especially youth and adolescent is if I don't get, if I put an a and don't get B, is it even worth it?

[00:39:55] Eric Stevenson: And they're not willing to run that risk because it's scary, [00:40:00] right? If I really study for a test, but then I don't get a good grade. Then what's the point of studying in the future if it's not guaranteed and. Because there's uncertainty and ambiguity within working really hard. That's the disconnect.

[00:40:14] Eric Stevenson: And that's where I do a lot of work with the athletes to say. Hey, what are we doing this for? 

[00:40:19] Eric Stevenson: But again, like the best athletes in the world love the small details technique to reach their goals, right? The, focusing on the very small, boring stuff that they have to do. So again, Setting out set out for as high as the lofty goal as you want, but as a parent, help them break it down to saying how do we get there and then, help them be stay accountable to those things or help them reach those smaller goals along the way.

[00:40:44] Eric Stevenson: And then, celebrate them right and which is should be done as well you're working so hard or, you're really committing to this that's got to feel great that's got to feel good. Because that'll then create the motivation to continue. That's awesome. 

[00:40:59] Dori Durbin: I just love how [00:41:00] you broke it down backwards for us, because I think you're right.

[00:41:03] Dori Durbin: If they're willing to do those little things, like you said, to get to the big result, then yeah, by all means, we can totally support that. 

[00:41:10] Eric Stevenson: Absolutely. It's Hey, you want to raise, you want to get promoted at your job, right? How do you do that? You got to keep working down. And it's again we talked about the transitional to life skills, that same athlete will say you know what?

[00:41:22] Eric Stevenson: I, you know what, I want this job, I want this race, but I gotta start, I gotta do those little things, I know that I have to do the consistent, I gotta show up to work on time, I gotta keep, keep this attitude, I gotta communicate, I gotta do the work the best I can, and then it's not guaranteed that I'll get promoted or I'll get that raise, but it certainly will increase the probability that, and that's why I tell people, I say, hey, you're coming here for mental work, I'm not gonna, this doesn't guarantee you're gonna win the tournament or championship or state.

[00:41:50] Eric Stevenson: Know that. But I go, would you play your next game with your shoes untied? No. I go, okay, why not? Because it might be risky. I'm like, exactly. So it's [00:42:00] like, tying your shoes doesn't guarantee that you're going to win state, but it sure as heck is better than having your shoes untied.

[00:42:06] Eric Stevenson: It's just you're just making sure you're doing all of the requirements that are going to increase the probability that you're going to reach the goal that you want. Makes so much sense 

[00:42:17] Dori Durbin: when you say it all that way. Totally does. Okay, what are three to five steps that if a parent wants to start to make changes now?

[00:42:25] Dori Durbin: For their athletes. What are three to five things that they can 

[00:42:29] Eric Stevenson: do now? Okay, so here's going to, yeah, these are the three really good, we'll call them tips, right? Tips that you can go to write these down. First one, and this is for just parenting in general, but a lot of parents A lot of my sports parenting research has pretty much concluded than just parenting, right?

[00:42:46] Eric Stevenson: It's really similar. The first one is validate and empower, right? Do not try to fix their emotion, do not try to change it, do not try to say it's okay. It's validate. If they're frustrated, if they're anxious. [00:43:00] For instance, they might say, Oh I'm super nervous about, to the game today.

[00:43:06] Eric Stevenson: I don't feel good in my stomach. What if I don't play well? You'll be fine. Just take a deep breath. Johnny, you're fine. You got this. You've worked so hard. Again, the intention behind that is awesome, right? And that's certainly better than saying nothing at all, ?

[00:43:20] Eric Stevenson: Because they need that support from mom and dad. But it's not actually as helpful as saying, Oh, you know what? Being nervous is totally that's normal. That's a, absolutely acceptable way to feel right now. And you know what? Mom feels nervous too sometimes at work if I'm going to do something right or wrong.

[00:43:39] Eric Stevenson: So that's the validate. So you just said, it's okay to feel that way. And a lot of people do. And sometimes I do too. So you just made it acceptable to feel nervous. Now the empowering thing is saying, and You can be nervous and still play well, right? You can be nervous and still go out there with confidence, right?

[00:43:56] Eric Stevenson: It's not, you don't need to get rid of the nerves to play well, [00:44:00] right? You can be nervous and still play well. It's not a transactional, you got to have one for the other. It's no, it's, you got to feel nervous because, all the research I've done and all the Podcasts I've listened to a pro athletes are like, are you kidding me?

[00:44:13] Eric Stevenson: I'm nervous as heck out there. We think they're so calm and they have this magic breathing technique that made them like completely calm. They're like, no, my mind is racing. It gives us this illusion that they're somehow calm in the storm when they're not, they've realized, wow, all of these experiences of.

[00:44:29] Eric Stevenson: I'm super nervous and my mind races, but I still play well. Then that gives them the okay. So validate and empower is a really good one. And that can be with any emotion or anything that they're experiencing. 

[00:44:40] Eric Stevenson: The second one, the second tip I have, this is a really important one.

[00:44:44] Eric Stevenson: It can be difficult, but super important. So this is back to identity. So when you're describing your athlete, when you're talking to them or about them this is interesting because they hear if you're talking to another parent or a coach about them, they're listening, [00:45:00] right? You want to be sure to use verbs to describe them as opposed to nouns.

[00:45:06] Eric Stevenson: So here's an example. Sarah, she's a star. She's just so talented. She's so smart. She's so athletic. Okay. What's the problem with that is Sarah will not always be the star. She will not always be the hero. She will not always feel smart. She will not always feel athletic. Okay. She does not have access to those things every day.

[00:45:31] Eric Stevenson: So if Sarah has a great game going in the car and seem like you're just, you're just so talented, or, you're just a star, you're Yeah. You're just using verbs. Sarah has a good game. Great. Use verbs. Say, wow you stayed so focused in that game today, right? Oh, wow. You remained resilient after that first mistake you made.

[00:45:52] Eric Stevenson: So when you start to reinforce and condition your child with verbs that is more closely [00:46:00] how they'll identify with themselves because. I see 17 year olds who think I'm the star, I'm the hero, I'm the town's best athlete, or at least I was, and now I'm not? Who am I? And I hate this sport, I hate my parents, and I don't know what I want to do with my life.

[00:46:18] Eric Stevenson: Because, yeah, you might be the star at 12, but guess what? Competition gets harder the higher you go, and eventually, if Sarah's pairing to this thought that she's the star, and the older she gets, it's no longer, apparent that she's the star. She's gonna she's going to start questioning I have to, and this is where performance anxiety comes from, I have to maintain this status if I'm the star or I'm the captain it's, she doesn't have access to that.

[00:46:46] Eric Stevenson: But every day she goes out, whether she's 12 or 16 or 24. She can be focused. She can be resilient. She can be, she can play freely. She can play committed. Your son hits the game winning [00:47:00] home run. You are the hero out there. Nope. It's, wow. You swang so freely at that pitch. You swang so confidently.

[00:47:07] Eric Stevenson: Because they can't be the hero every day, but they can swing freely and confidently. So when you start identifying your child with verbs, They'll start to pair to the verbs as their behaviors, and when they get older and they face adversity, or when they face adversity, it's not I'm going to make the team in high school because I'm a star, it's I'm going to make the team in high school because I'm the most resilient, I'm going to make the team in high school because I know how to stay focused or I know how to play confidently.

[00:47:37] Eric Stevenson: So that's a really important tip that I think is going to be really helpful. And was a study done with children and they had them take a random test. And they prompted half of them to be like you know what, you guys are so smart, right?

[00:47:48] Eric Stevenson: They took a test, didn't even grade it. And they said, you guys are so smart. You're the smartest group that we've had come through here. And then they had another group, they said, you know what, you guys didn't get the best grades, but you know what, you guys were resilient, [00:48:00] you figured it out, and then they had them taking tests, a few weeks later, and you can imagine what group did better because the group that, tried harder and did better was the group that paired with, oh I'm resilient, or I can do this, as opposed to I'm just smart I got it.

[00:48:14] Eric Stevenson: Because early success, we know, right? The junior champions, all that, very rarely become a senior champion. Very rarely does it translate into adulthood or college or high school. Because If you're the star and your show's great and all, it's like do I really need to train that hard or work that hard ?

[00:48:33] Eric Stevenson: So , utilize verbs is the second tip I have. 

[00:48:35] Eric Stevenson: And I think the third one that I'm gonna give is, A lot of times when a parents want to help their athletes they see their athletes doing something wrong, right? They're like, Oh, the coach just talked about this.

[00:48:48] Eric Stevenson: You're doing it wrong. This or that, right? So you get in the car and be like, Oh, you did this with your arm or your shoulder, you're not supposed to do this, right? Of course, do less does not include coach them, right? Unless you're their coach, of [00:49:00] course. I go to youth games and I'll see a lot of coaching on the sideline, ?

[00:49:03] Eric Stevenson: Do this, remember this, take a breath, look there, right? So what I say is, you gotta ask, suggest, and then ask, ? This is a simple tip. 

[00:49:12] Eric Stevenson: So you might say, is it okay if I give some insight into what I saw out there today? You're not just bombarding with saying, here's what I saw, this is what you did wrong, because then they're going to, they're going to feel attacked, right?

[00:49:24] Eric Stevenson: And this is when the arguments start, and then they want to ride in different cars and they don't, they don't like mom or dad, whatever, so you ask, you know what, hey, do you mind if I give a suggestion or is it okay if we talk, right? So you gotta ask, okay.

[00:49:37] Eric Stevenson: Then you suggest, it's you know what okay, I see that You know, didn't, you didn't play well, you made some mistakes out there. What do you think about what, we were working on the other day or what your coach was telling you, do I think, if we kind of work on those things that could be helpful, right?

[00:49:50] Eric Stevenson: If you just kept your head down or if you did this with your arm just suggest that. And they might receive, they're going to receive that a little better because you prompted with a question, [00:50:00] right? Are you ready to receive this information? And if they say yes. Then you provide and then you ask again, does that make sense or, does it feel like that would be helpful for you or do you have any thoughts on that?

[00:50:14] Eric Stevenson: So it's long and it's more work for to do as a parent, but coming and saying, yep, you did, you made the same mistake you've been making all year. I don't know when you're ever going to figure it out, right? That's not gonna, that's not gonna end well, but hey, do do you mind if I, give you, do you mind if I give my, two cents here or do you mind if I ask you about something?

[00:50:33] Eric Stevenson: Go for it. I noticed you're struggling with this again, okay, and then ask, does that make sense? Do you have any questions about that? Does it feel like that could be helpful? Okay, I know parents want to help, right? They want to give feedback, ?

[00:50:45] Eric Stevenson: It's I see the problem so well, right? It's, I struggle with, I'm a big golfer, my fiancee golfs, and I just want to like, do this with your swing, right? , that doesn't go well. I gotta be like, okay, wait. It's are they ready to receive feedback? How can I [00:51:00] give them the suggestion or thoughts that I have and then follow up with an ask is that helpful for you?

[00:51:05] Eric Stevenson: Do you have questions about that? Does that make sense? So ask to give the feedback then suggest. Not saying you need to do this, not I feel like it can be helpful. Or what about, what if you tried this again? Or what if you did that? You must question it. And then you ask again, right? To say, does that make sense for you?

[00:51:23] Eric Stevenson: They're going to receive that a lot better and they're going to take the feedback and criticism, constructive criticism better. And then overall, they're going to have a better relationship with you because ideally at the end of the day, I I want the kids to be athletes.

[00:51:34] Eric Stevenson: I want the parents to be great parents, but having a good relationship with your child when they're young adults is number one before any game that they're going to win before any team that they're going to make. Because I've seen kids quit sports. Because of their relationship with their parent and it just affect \ their parent child relationship continues through young adulthood.[00:52:00] 

[00:52:00] Dori Durbin: I think you're absolutely right. If you can secure some sort of way to communicate earlier and do it in a way that's received by both people, even if it's the kids learn that system and use it, in the future in their own lives, too. I think that would be amazing.

[00:52:16] Dori Durbin: Okay, Eric, I know that there's going to be a lot of questions beyond what I asked you. I'm thinking we probably could have gone another two hours, but if they wanted to reach out to you is there a best way to contact you?

[00:52:29] Eric Stevenson: Absolutely. They can reach me at my email at my, at the practice and that's just, E for Eric and then Stevenson with a V. So E S T E V E and S O N E Stevenson at simply be. net. And it's, there's two E's in the B. So S I M P L Y B E right? Like the insect simply be. So if they have questions or they need more information, or I even have, I created a sports parenting reference guide with six quick tips to help them.

[00:52:59] Eric Stevenson: So if they would like [00:53:00] that to consolidate what we've talked about today, I'd be more than happy to share that with them as well. That'd 

[00:53:04] Dori Durbin: be fabulous. Thank you so much for your insight. I feel like you gave them so many great tips beyond even those last three.

[00:53:12] Eric Stevenson: Thank you for having me.

[00:53:14] Eric Stevenson: I love helping the athletes and of course the parents of the athletes because they're a part of the team just as much as the coach or myself or the trainers as well. So thank you. Thank you.. 

Getting too involved
The 24 hour rule
Validate don't "fix"
Explore the quit
Keep Involved while injured
Small daily goals for big achievements
Use verbs to describe your athlete
Use "ask, suggest, ask" feedback