In this blog post I outline how you can be a supportive parent to your daughter throughout tryouts and during this lacrosse season.
Since I have recently been embracing stoicism (thanks to my husband) I break everything down into controllables. The basic principles of stoicism include recognizing what you can and cannot control and how you determine your reaction to a crisis. When I interviewed the top coaches in the state of New Hampshire about what they look for - a lot of common themes emerged..and GOOD NEWS… they are all things you can CONTROL.
Breaking things down into what you can and cannot control is a great skill to teach our daughters and a great skill to practice ourselves.
So, here are the top six ways you can support your daughter:
Encourage your daughter: Encourage your daughter to work hard, have fun, and do her best. Let her know that you're proud of her efforts and that you support her regardless of the outcome of the tryouts or games.
Be positive and supportive: Maintain a positive and supportive attitude, even if your daughter has a bad game or struggles during tryouts. Avoid putting too much pressure on her to perform or criticizing her mistakes. Instead, offer encouragement and help her focus on the positive aspects of her performance.
Respect the coach's decisions: It's important to respect the coach's decisions regarding playing time, position assignments, and other aspects of the game. Avoid questioning the coach's decisions or putting undue pressure on your daughter to play a certain way.
Help your daughter stay organized: Help your daughter stay organized by making sure she has all the necessary equipment, transportation to practices and games, and a healthy diet and rest. This will help her focus on the sport and perform at her best.
Celebrate successes: Celebrate your daughter's successes, both big and small. Whether she scores a goal, makes a great play, or simply shows improvement, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate her accomplishments. This will help boost her confidence and motivation.
FINALLY…and in my opinion the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO AS A PARENT…
6. Put emphasis on things that matter: When you talk to your daughter about tryouts or
her game, instead of asking her stats (i.e. were you the fastest?? How many goals did
you score? Did you win all the draws??) I would encourage you to ask questions like
How did you respond to a challenge or difficult moment at practice?
How were you a good teammate?
Did you ask your coach for any feedback?
These questions put emphasis on the things that matter - and the things they can control which are: how they respond to a challenge, how to be a good person, and how they can get better. By placing emphasis on things they can control and challenging them to have hard conversations, we are developing them into more confident young women and equipping them with crucial life skills that are so often lost.
Best of luck parents!