stop complaining, start re-training
Scientific research continues to show that there are unhealthy ramifications for people who habitually complain. In fact, a recent Inc.com article titled “Complaining is Terrible for You, According to Science” revealed that “steeping yourself in negativity has seriously terrible consequences for your mental and physical health.” No doubt about it, it’s impossible to live your best life, either in body or in spirit, as a complainer. That’s true for each of us in any area, especially – as we’re talking here today – in your life as a sports parent. Choosing to complain has some seriously terrible consequences for your health, yes, but it also has some seriously terrible consequences for developing a champion, too. If you’re working to help your son reach his full potential in sports or in life, I want to challenge you today to consider a better way.
Don’t get me wrong. As a sports parent, there's plenty you can complain about. You might be frustrated to show up and see your son or his team play poorly. You might be frustrated with him, his coach or his teammates, or maybe with the referee or the opponent. The bleachers are too hard, the weather’s too cold, the popcorn’s too burnt. It’s the other parents. It’s the score. It could be almost anything. For some sports parents, it is almost anything they’ll find a problem with. Like anyone, you get to choose where you focus your attention. But if you are a habitual complainer, then you need to see the truth today: the more you’re focused on complaining, the less you’re focused on building and developing a champion.
The more you're focused on complaining, the less you're
focused on building and developing a champion.
If you see every challenge or inconvenience in life as an opportunity to complain, then you’re never going to reach your full potential. It’s true for any of us across the board: at work, in relationships, in parenting. And it’s true for your son in his life, too, on the playing field and beyond. As his guide, his parent, and his developer, you set a powerful example in the life of your boy, and what you choose to emphasize is what your son will learn to value. That means if you’re committed to finding and negatively vocalizing every perceived hardship that exists in your world, then you’re training your son to do the same. Complainers breed complainers. And complainers don’t become champions.
So today, stop complaining, and instead, start re-training. Re-train that destructive habit that’s keeping both you and your son from becoming your best, and start living like a champion. Champions understand that every experience – even (and maybe especially) the one that's challenging – provides an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve. I’m not saying that champions enjoy adversity or hardship – no one does. But I am saying that champions see adversity or hardship differently. And by seeing it differently, they think about it and respond to it differently, too. They don't waste their time and energy grumbling; they're too busy getting better! They identify and act on what's important and controllable, and can let go of what's not. They clearly recognize the damaging consequences complaining can have. If you’re serious about raising a champion, then you’ve got to be a champion yourself. Why? Because champions breed champions. You’ve got to re-train your thinking, and see the truth.
Complainers breed complainers.
Champions breed champions.
*The truth is, champion athletes aren’t defined by adversity; they’re defined by their response to it. So are champion sports parents.
*The truth is, champion athletes don’t allow themselves to adopt a victim mentality. They’re empowered by a clear understanding of the role challenge and adversity play in any worthwhile achievement. They’re tough enough to handle it. So are champion sports parents.
*The truth is, champion athletes aren’t complainers. Instead, they’re focused on controlling what’s controllable – their attitude, their effort, their response. So are champion sports parents.
Don’t get me wrong, this work won’t be easy. Re-training the way you see, think about, and respond to anything in life is tough. It requires that you be mindful, and aware, and intentional. You’ll need toughness and discipline to change your habit. Re-training is not easy or convenient, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Then again, neither is raising a champion.
I hope you can see clearly that if you choose to spend your time and energy complaining, you’re doing more than damaging your own physical and mental health. You’re also damaging the incredible opportunity you have to help your son reach his full potential, in sports and in life. Today, if you feel the urge to complain, don't. Instead, be a champion sports parent, so you can raise a champion athlete and man. Stop complaining, and start re-training.
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