Free throws with my son, part 2

This is part 2 of 2. To read the full post from last week, click here.

To summarize, basketball reigns supreme at Casa Vulakh and my 9 year-old son was beating himself up during a free throw practice session last week. 

He learned the importance of coaching himself and being his own BFF. That translated to no more mumbling negative epithets under his breath or telling himself he’s terrible at whatever it is. He practiced talking to himself as if his best bud was inside his head, encouraging him along.

It worked. He even admitted as much after seeing steady improvement. (Yes!!!)

Since he was on a roll, he continued to take more shots and naturally, missed a few and made a few.

And then it became obvious he needed to hear more.

So I knelt down again and...

Me: Zander, listen to me. This is important. Very important. I can see you’re starting to get frustrated again. Keep going. You are practicing. You are learning. We’re all practicing everyday and we’re all learning and we’re all doing the best we can. Just keep going.

Z: OK.


Then, for maximum impact (and because we're in the middle of NBA Playoffs), I cited a real-time example with one of his heroes.

Me: Hey bud, you remember the Warriors’ game from two nights ago? How Steph missed all those shots early in the game? And then he had two tries to make the winning basket and he missed both times?

Z: Yeah.

Me: You think he was beating himself up over that or did he keep going?


Z: He kept going.

Me: Right. And do you think K.D. and Iguodala refused to pass him the ball because he missed before?

Z: No.


Me: Exactly. Steph had his own back and he kept going - making shots and missing them - even missing when it mattered the most. 

Z: Yeah, hmm.


We’ve been working on the skill of practicing a lot lately, and referencing these learnings wherever applicable and as you can imagine, there have many moments.

It’s been a noteworthy reminder for the adults, too. We may be more proficient in many areas but there’s always room for improvement, especially when trying new things and self-coaching.

It’s true, much of what runs through my head about me I wouldn’t dare think - let alone say - about any human being.

We can be our own worst enemies - putting ourselves down and stopping us before we start.

And we don’t have time for that! The world needs you and your magic.

And YOU need YOU.

Awareness is the first step. Start by paying attention to how you talk to yourself. What are you telling yourself? What words are you using? What phrases? Write them down (that’ll shock you).

And then keep going. Only this time, make sure you’re being your own BFF.


Be well.
Stacey (+ Sarah)

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