It’s Week 7 of the year and we officially started BASEBALL yesterday! We didn’t know we were going to be Baseball parents when we had kids, but we did know we would probably be raising student-athletes. I’m going to bounce right off of Self-Care Week and into a bit of Dynamic Athlete Awareness. You may have picked up by now that I am passionate about a few psychology-related things… One of my biggest concerns, even bigger than Grief Management and Early Childhood Development is the Mental Health of kids playing sports. I happen to have two boys, so my mission in life quickly began to revolve around re-wiring the generational traumas, expectations, stigmas, minimizing of masculinity, and all-around lack of a better term “bullying” that happens in sports. And, I don’t only mean that which comes from opponents, but from your own teammates and worst of all, an athlete’s own parents. We’re taking a deep(ish) dive this week.
Week 7 | Post 2
It’s me, Kandice, that mom with the Psych background in Childhood Behavior Management. I’m the problem, it’s me. I am the one who will write a speech she reads to an entire baseball field of parents before a game to ensure that they behave themselves properly and show up as role models for everyone on the field, opposing sides included. I will hold up an entire little league match to conference with opposing coaches over bad calls to make sure we do right by the kids. I will be the one who throws herself in the middle of a Dad-Coach-Dog-Fight to break it up before it ever starts so their boys don’t have to see them behave like that. Been there, done that, and I’ll do it again.
Week 7 | Post 3
I’ll do it again and again because I myself was a college athlete and the irony is, that parents are so concerned about their kids making it that far, they’re having emotional meltdowns over it at the Elementary level. When in FACT not being able to control your emotions is exactly what will keep you from being recruited. I could write an entire book on how to not be recruited and a lack of emotional awareness would be at the top of the list… The conversation we have with #MySweetandSticky here is that “Being the best at a sport isn’t the answer, but playing a sport answers all the best questions.”
Those questions are about your Emotional Intelligence. Did we find our limit today? Did we honor our goals and Self through this experience? Are we growing through this challenge? Did we bounce back despite that challenge? Did we conquer a fear or surpass an obstacle? Are we getting closer to the man you want to be?
Week 7 | Post 4
I have to give credit where credit is due: We have some of the absolute best dads I’ve ever experienced in all my history of sports. The dads that we have surrounded our kids with are different and it has made a HUGE difference. I know it was never said out loud, but somehow the expectation was set that we would all follow in guiding our boys together. The dads we’ve surrounded our boys with use kindness and encouragement in every aspect of their coaching. I’m so proud and grateful to say that our boys are allowed to have their big feelings in the dugouts. They can express pain and frustration without ridicule from their adult role models. Thanks to the behavior and consistency of our dads, our boys have absolutely learned how to thrive and build themselves up. Yes, it has taken work. Work that generations ago would have been skipped for an easy “walk it off” (minimize it/don’t have feelings) mentality. But I know we’re better and stronger boys because our dads don’t take the easy route. They know these boys are worth the work.
Week 7 | Post 5
Slide on into the profile link to read up on the 10 Things Every Baseball Mom Should Do to Support her Son during Baseball Season. Wyatt and I built a list that includes being his biggest cheerleader, helping at practice, and understanding the big picture, or perspective.
Week 7 | Post 6
This might not seem like a Mental Health Tip, but I assure you it is… with youth sports comes chaos, unpredictable outcomes and very distracted young people. The more you can make their environment set up for success the better. Many kids struggle with spontaneity, mine included. They need time to prepare themselves mentally for that big, spotlight in the vulnerable batters’ box. Having a chart like this on display tends to make people think I’m just over the top when in reality, I’m frontloading their emotional capacity for an unpredictable situation they have to endure, batting. It is the most stressful piece of Little League with everyone watching you, most often failing. It takes a lot of mental toughness to prepare for and knowing exactly when you’re up has helped our boys tremendously. Find this chart and more of my Baseball Mom Essentials on my Amazon List.
Week 7 | Post 7
So here comes the big post, the deep dive into #MySweetandSticky Opinion on being a baseball mom. Head on over to the blog post where I cover my Top 5 Focus Points for the Dynamic Conversations you should be having to and from practices that will Mentally Prepare your athlete for his Baseball Season. These are the focal points that are nearest and dearest to my heart as an athlete, coach, and mom. I’m talking about self-talk, mindset, accountability at practices, and of course, sportsmanship. There’s a big psychology gem in there you may never have considered. 😉 Link in profile.