Letting Go of Fear of Failure-Part IV

Fear of failure is about the perceptions that you hold about failure and, for the vast majority of people, those perceptions are entirely disconnected from the reality of their lives. You perceive that bad things will happen if you fail, but the reality is that nothing particularly bad, aside from some disappointment, will likely result from a failure.

The Real Fear in Fear of Failure: Part III

The real fear is not failure, the meaning you attach to failure, or even total failure. Instead, the real fear of failure is about the fear of experiencing the painful emotions that young people think they will suffer if they fail.

Is the American Academy of Pediatrics Copping Out on Screens

Increasing the limits allowed for kids’ screen time or not offering time limits at all, either of which seem to be directions that the AAP is considering, flies in face of the fact that kids these days are already way out of balance in their use of technology.

You Won’t Find Athletic Success Without "The Grind"

No matter how much you love your sport and no matter how much fun it is in general, you have to admit that there are many specific aspects of being an athlete that are definitely not fun, especially the physical conditioning. I’m thinking of those cold early morning runs, those workouts in the rain or in the blazing heat of summer, those multiple sets of weights.

When Should Your Young Athlete Specialize?

This question torments every parent who wants to support their children’s efforts as they pursue their own personal greatness in a sport. If you want your kids to stay healthy, stay motivated, and perform better, the experts and the research say that multisport participation is the way to go. But the messages from our culture tell parents something very different.

Is Coding Camp a Good Thing? Answer: Not to Me

One of the booming trends in the 'youth-achievement-industrial complex' is computer coding camps (and after-school coding programs). I think this trend is driven by economic uncertainty that has created immense anxiety in parents for their children's futures. Also, a hyper-achievement culture in which parents feel compelled to 'keep up with the Joneses'.

Master Your Athletic Frustration

Every athlete, from juniors to Olympians and pros, has experienced the feeling of frustration when they’re not able to do something, whether physically, technically, tactically, or competitively: you feel stuck, get tense, lose focus, and get discouraged. The best way I can describe the feeling is: AAARRGGHH!! It is a truly infuriating feeling.

Don’t Waste Your Time (It’s Precious)

I’m a ‘timeist.’ A timeist is someone who discriminates against others who waste their time. I hoard my time like misers hoard their money and animals hoard their food. Time has become truly precious to me and any second not spent with people or activities I care about feels like time stolen from me with no chance of return.

The Death of Wonder (and the 3 Words That Killed It)

“I wonder.” is the wellspring from which engaged and expansive thinking emerges. Curiosity propels you to seek out an answer. You think creatively and innovatively. New ideas and discoveries blossom. Yet, none of this will happen if you or someone you are with blurts out the ultimate intellectual and creative buzzkill: “Let’s Google it!”

You Won’t Find Happiness at the Finish Line

We devote immense amounts of time, effort, energy, and money. Yet, that pursuit seems to be wholly unsatisfying and ineffective, as evidenced by the fact that there exists a ‘happiness-industrial complex’. One place that many people look for happiness is at the finish line. Yet, I can assure you that it can’t be found there.

The Ultimate Price of Our Hyper-Achievement Culture

In an earlier post, I described the high cost that pushing kids too hard can have on their lives. A truly tragic example of this trend is Madison Holleran, a U. of Penn student and athlete, who committed suicide in early 2014. On the surface, she was a happy and successful young woman. But inside there was turmoil.

Four Steps to Making Change an Opportunity Not a Threat

In general, people don’t like change. During primitive times, change was perceived as a threat to survival which triggered our ‘fight or flight’ response. Unfortunately, though we like to think that we have evolved far beyond our ancestors, the reality is that we are still quite primitive in some basic ways including our response to change.

Make Mental Training a Priority in Your Sport

I work with many athletes each year, from juniors with big dreams to pros and Olympians who are realizing their dreams. What is abundantly clear to me is that, once the foundation of fitness, technique, tactics, and equipment are established, it is the mind that separates athletes who achieve their goals from those who don’t.

There is No Formula or Timetable for Athletic Success

Wouldn't it be great if sports had a formula that you could follow to be successful? Imagine if you had a list of things you simply needed to do (for example: get into shape, hone your technical and tactical skills, get your equipment dialed in,) and, voila, you would have a 100 percent chance of performing your best and getting the results you want.

Are You a Free-Range Parent? You Should Be

Children need to have the freedom to explore their worlds on their own without parents acting like helicopters, always hovering around to "protect" them for the apparently dangerous world in which they now. Yet, our children are fenced in, literally and metaphorically, almost every moment of every day.

Sports Are Like Sleep

So, how are sports like sleep? You can’t TRY to play well. Forcing yourself to play well creates overthinking, muscle tension, and the attempt to control your body in the hopes that you can make your body play well. But, the harder you try to play well, the less likely you will play well. You want to allow great play to emerge naturally.

4 Rituals to Create a “Green Family”

One of the best ways to communicate any message to your children is through regular rituals that are woven into the fabric of your family’s lives. The consistency of intention and action help ingrain the messages you want your children to get most. The use of rituals is very effective in teaching your children about nature and environmental stewardship.

6 Catchphrases to Connect Your Children to Nature

Because words send powerful messages to children, you can further help your children connect to nature by associated their wonderful experiences in nature with meaningful catchphrases related to nature. Our catchphrase for sending positive messages about the environment to our daughters is “We’re a green family.”

“Be Different” for Increased Performance and Productivity

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, nothing will change. Plus, the best way to get the same results as your competitors is to do the same things that they are doing. These conclusions seem obvious, yet corporate change is very difficult because people and companies are inertial and change is difficult.

The Burden of Expectation: A Lesson From an Olympic Champion

Mikaela Shiffrin, the 19-year-old ski racing phenom, has certainly put herself between a rock and a hard place. The rock is the expectations she has created from her short, though illustrious, career. The hard place is that the 2015 World Ski Championships will be contested in Shiffrin’s home town of Vail, Colorado. The expectations on her get ratcheted up big time.

Compete Like You Train or Train Like You Compete?

One of the first questions that I ask athletes and coaches I work with is: Should you compete like you train or train like you compete? By far, the most frequent response is: You should compete like you train. This answer seems perfectly reasonable if you think about it. When you train, you’re relaxed, feel no pressure, and are only focused on performing your best.

8 Ways to Nurture Your Children’s Connection to Nature

Children love the Earth. They really do hug trees. Kids care in the purest and sweetest way for birds, flowers, plants, and animals. Help your children develop a deep connection to nature that can result is a commitment to and sense of stewardship for the future health of our planet.

In Tragedy, Putting Sports in Perspective

When young people lose their lives in sports, it is a bracing slap in the face about why we are involved in sports and a reminder about what is really important (and it’s not the results!). Let’s honor them by keeping sports in perspective as a marvelous part of life, but not life itself.

5 Reasons Athletes Don’t Do Mental Training

When I ask athletes how important the mind is compared to the physical and technical sides of sports, the vast majority say that it is as or more important. Yet, if I had to guess how many athletes actually make mental training an integral part of their preparations, even after learning all about it from me, I would put the number at less than 10%. Why is that?

Five Ways to Weave Gratitude Into Your Family’s Life

To ensure that your children embrace the value of gratitude, you must immerse them in a culture of gratitude. You can do this by weaving gratitude into the very fabric of your family life.

Vote for the Worst Toy of the Year

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an organization whose mission is to support parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing, is having a Vote for the Worst Toy of the Year contest. There are five worthy (or should I say unworthy) candidates.

3 Goals for Playing Your Best on Game Day

Defining success in sport is a difficult task. When I ask most athletes and coaches how they define success, it is usually in terms of results. Though, admittedly, results are the ultimate determinant of success, I have found that a preoccupation with them can both interfere with achieving those results and can produce feelings of disappointment and frustration (or worse).

6 Steps for Making Tough Business Decisions

The decisions that are made, from the boardroom and the corner office on down, dictate the direction that the company goes. Yet, decision making may be the only area of a company that doesn’t have a clear structure or process for maximizing quality.

3 Essential Mindsets for Athletic Success

When I talk about mindset, I mean what is going on in your head just before you begin a competition, whether on the field, course, court, track, what-have-you. What happens in your mind during that oh-so-important period sets the stage for whether you perform to the best of your ability or crash and burn. I have found three mindsets that the best athletes use most.

4 Words of Kindness to Teach Gratitude to Your Children

Gloria believes that all good actions must come from the heart. So her catchphrase for gratitude is “Have a grateful heart.” Whenever her two children start to take what they have for granted, she invokes “Have a grateful heart.”