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Struggle, truth, and moving forward faster

by Stacie ~ January 25th, 2016.
Filed under: Softball Tips, Stacie's Thoughts, To: Softball Players | No Comments » |

Sometimes you come across an area that’s challenging for you. Often there’s a reason WHY you aren’t fabulous in that area right now. It’s very important that you recognize that there is a reason and accept the current reality vs turning your current “struggle” or challenge into your story or into the “truth” you believe about yourself.

Example: player reaches 10 or 12u and her friends have shot up and grown and she’s “behind the curve.” She is smaller than everyone and doesn’t hit the ball as hard. She begins thinking, “I’ll never hit the ball as hard as other players because I’m smaller than everyone else.”

This story can easily become a belief. Especially because the main parts of it ARE currently “true.”

This player IS currently smaller than other players and she DOESN’T currently hit the ball as hard as them.

Right now, at this time, those two things ARE “true.” But when you let them become your story and your belief about yourself, it very quickly and easily turns into …

“I’m smaller than everyone else so I can’t hit the ball as hard”

When that happens, guess what will always be true …

The story you tell yourself.

Or you can take a step back and look at the situation and see it for what it is …

“Yes, I am smaller and don’t hit as hard in THIS moment … “

Then recognize that that is not necessarily going to be true forever. And let your story be …

I’m still growing and I’m still learning and I’m still improving my swing and my speed and, one day, even if I’m never the same size as other players, I can develop in other areas that will allow me to hit the ball hard too. (Or allow me to be just as dangerous a bitter in my own way)

That’s very different from allowing, “I’m smaller than everyone so I can’t hit as hard as them” become your story, become your “truth,” and become the belief you have about yourself.

Your life and your sports experiences are not “snapshots,” frozen in time, staying the same forever. They are “movie reels,” constantly moving and changing. What is “true” right now doesn’t “always” have to be.

If you can acknowledge that possibility, that things CAN change, it will go a long way toward moving forward faster 😉

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Take your cleats to the street

No screaming in the car required

by Stacie ~ January 18th, 2016.
Filed under: Sports Parenting | No Comments » |

This article was SO difficult for me to read through. I almost didn’t make it past the very beginning because it absolutely broke my heart.

If you’re reading this post, you are probably NOT at this level of crazy sports parenting, but still, please “get” THIS message …

“Screaming at your kid in the car on the way to a hockey game isn’t going to get them to the next level. Having a 12-year-old kid run six miles after practice isn’t going to turn them into Jonathan Toews.

You know when you actually get good at sports? When you’re having fun and being creative. When you’re being a kid. When you don’t even realize you’re getting better, that’s when you’re getting better. If you’re not engaged in what you’re doing, it’s as helpful as taking the trash out. It’s just another chore.

But that’s not what some parents, even normal ones, want to hear…

When I was in the NHL, I’d be doing my off-season workouts at the gym with Daniel Carcillo and some other NHL buddies, and we’d look over and see 12-year-old kids doing the same two-hour workout we were doing, with a trainer screaming at them the whole time. Half the time their parents would be there, yelling at them, too.

And it’s absolutely comical. It’s doing nothing…

All this hardass training stuff is just fluff…

Let that be your guide.

Now if your child WANTS to train, that’s one thing. Making them train because you think it helps “guarantee” an outcome, is quite another.

Don’t fall for the BS of, “It doesn’t matter, as long as they are ‘successful,’ then I did my job.”

The ends do NOT justify the means.

You will not be happy with just “doing your job” as a parent when your child is out of school, out of sports, experiencing success, but doesn’t care to come home for Christmas or to talk to you regularly, if at all.

Remember to keep the BIGGER picture in mind. The one that surpasses college and includes the rest of their life and yours, not just what can or *might* be accomplished between now and the end of education and sports.

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Take your cleats to the street

Social Media Matters

by Stacie ~ January 12th, 2016.
Filed under: Sports Parenting, Stacie's Thoughts, To: Softball Players, Youth Softball | No Comments » |

This is not a new topic. Three years ago I wrote my first article about social media for athletes. About a year and a half ago, we touched upon this topic again.

Today, I’m writing for two reasons…

1. To give you yet another heads up about social media (see image below).

social media for athletes
ALWAYS conduct yourself with integrity. Offline, online … it’s ALL real life!


2. To provide food for thought for sports parents and coaches.

One of the best ways to help kids treat social media like the very REAL part of life it is, is for you and I to treat it as such.

Um, okay Stacie, what does that even mean?

How many times have you heard things like, “These kids now days, they don’t even know how to have real conversations. All they do is hide behind a keyboard.”

Is that entirely inaccurate? Maybe not.

Is it true?

Well, if it is, then it implies that anything done from “behind a keyboard” ISN’T real.

Is it any wonder, with this kind of mentality running rampant in society, that kids don’t take what they post on social media seriously? We’ve all but told them it’s not “real.”

That, as far as we’re concerned, it “doesn’t really count.”

Then we suddenly expect them to “get” that they *should* be taking social media seriously.

Really? Since when? This whole time “everyone’s” been knocking stuff done from “behind the keyboard.” But now it’s supposed to be “important???”

Can you see how we might be creating some of the confusion surrounding the seriousness and realness of digital communication?

So what can be done?

Well, we can start taking social media and mobile communication seriously. As in, if you know of a kid who wants to communicate with you that way, do it. Acknowledge it as REAL communication. Not any better or worse that in person communication, just a different form of communication.

Take it just as seriously as you would face to face conversation with them.

But it’s not face to face.

I know. However, as long as you value face to face OVER digital communication, you reinforce the idea that digital communication isn’t “that important.”

I think we can both agree that, when it’s costing kids tens of thousands of dollars of higher education, thereby altering the course of their future, it’s pretty damn important.

Perhaps, if we start treating it that way from the get go, so will they. Kids do tend to learn what they live. If digital communication “doesn’t count” in the reality they live with you, you may be setting up challenges for yourself, and the kids in your life, down the road.

Instead, work WITH them to learn about the power of social media and how to use it for you instead of letting it become a detriment to you. Let them make their mistakes while you’re around to address them and help them do better (Waiting until junior or senior year may not be the best time to start doing this. Start early!). Have discussions about the things you see on social media.

Don’t allow their friends or other random kids, who may have no interest in your child’s goals and dreams, to be the ones who teach your child about “acceptable” ways to use social media. Be a great example of how to use social media responsibly. Embrace the opportunity to help your child learn how to navigate one of the most powerful communication tools of our time. Are you up for it?

If you don’t do it, someone else will. Be the one :)

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Take your cleats to the street