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Previously Answered Questions

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Can’t Coach An Athlete

I have an athlete who is taking my corrections out of context. She gets mad everytime I try to suggest something that might help. I’m frustrated with her and don’t want to coach her anymore. Do you have a suggestion?

What would happen if you let the athlete choose what she wanted to think and that was okay? You are trying to change her thoughts so you can feel better, which is never a good idea. It’s a lot easier to change your thoughts to feel better. She can never cause you frustration. You are the only one who can do that. Why do you want to feel frustrated? If she did exactly what you said, how would you feel? What would you believe about you? Ponder on the answers to those questions, then know that what you think and feel about her is totally optional. You get to be who you want to be despite what others say and do.


I feel like I’m using willpower to reach my goals and it’s exhausting. Why?

Because willpower is a resource that is limited and can run out. It’s better to use strategies that will be long lasting and not run out. Make a plan ahead of time with your prefrontal cortex and then plan on not wanting to keep your commitment when the time comes. If you know you won’t want to do what you planned to do, then you can tell your brain, “of course I don’t want to, but I’m going to anyway.” Be willing to process the emotion that comes when you choose to move forward despite not wanting to. Deciding ahead of time will get you farther than willpower everytime.

50/50 athletics?

What does it mean to live a 50/50 athletic experience? You mentioned that we will feel 50/50 no matter what level we are at in sports. Does that mean we won’t ever feel happy if we win?

When you are trying to reach a goal in order to “feel more successful” or “feel better about yourself”, then you are essentially setting yourself up for disappointment. When you reach any goal, you are not going to stop feeling negative emotions about yourself. Living a life of 50/50 means that you will, at all times in your life, experience 50% positive and 50% negative emotions. Sometimes those percentages are a bit different, but in general that is how it works. There is no award, success, team, level or expectation that you can achieve that will eliminate all negative emotions from your life. The motivation to change and reach for higher dreams is not for the promise of experience all better feelings, but rather for the opportunity of a richer, fuller athletic experience.

I want to feel motivated, how can I do that?

I’ve noticed when coaches say, “Hey you can do this” I feel like I can do it. But, when I try to motivate myself, I have a hard time doing it. I don’t think I can. I feel a lot of doubt about achieving a goal. I don’t know how to convince myself that I can do something. I know I can’t always have coaches motivate me. I do the thought downloads and models, but it’s still hard to feel motivated. 

Do you notice the thought “I don’t think I can…motivate myself” feels like a fact? You think saying “I have a hard time” motivating myself is true. But it’s not. Those are just thoughts. They are all optional. Also, you suggested that a coach has the power to motivate you. That is not true. Noone has that power. You just have a thought that  you believed when the coach said some words, and your belief motivated you. Think about that. Your believe motivated you, not your coach. When you believe a coach can motivate you, you are crediting your motivation (which is just a feeling) to what that coach said (a circumstance). Remember that circumstances don’t CAUSE feelings ever. There is always your power line between those two things= your thoughts. Don’t give your power away to someone else to decide how you want to feel. It always feels safer to give your power to someone else because then you don’t have to take responsibility for your emotions which drive your actions and your results. It doesn’t work out well in the end when you do that. What if you take all your power back and took responsibility for creating your own motivation? Try on a thought like, “I know exactly how to generate motivation for myself.” “Motivation is an inside job.” “I am capable of doing this one thing today.” “Sometimes I don’t choose to feel motivated and that’s okay.”  “I want to do ___________because of __________.” You got this! Now, go be Flippin’ Awesome

What can I do when I feel stuck?
Sometimes I am in the middle of practice and my brain likes to stop working. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I nod my head at my coach but I don’t know how to actually do what they are asking. I don’t want them to know that I’m confused.

Here is an idea. It sounds like you think your coach expects you to understand everything they are telling you. Did you know that you don’t have to know everything? Did you know it’s okay to get clarification? And, when you feel confused, what do you want to do? Usually when I feel confused, I choose to not do anything because I’m afraid I might do something wrong. But is doing nothing the right choice? Your brain wants you to be confused. It’s a safety mechanism that keeps you from taking action. When you don’t take action then you won’t fail. But, remember that the only way to get to your goal is by taking action and being willing to fail over and over and over again. So, make a choice, take a shot, talk to the coach, or decide that you do know what the coach is telling you to do and try “it” 100%. You will know if you were right or wrong by the results. What if you always knew exactly what to do and the results kept guiding you closer to your goal? What would you do if you believed that was true? Go be Flippin’ Awesome!

I want to be more consistent
When I go for my routines all out, I fall in competition. How can I be more consistent?

It helps to be very specific with yourself. What do you want to be consistent on? What specific skill are you trying to improve? What if you knew you hit that skill everytime in every competition, how would you feel? What would you believe about you and your abilities? Consistency is a result. When you know what result you want, just work the model backwards. If you want to be consistent on a beam series, what would you have to do? Break the action line down to a very tiny piece. Maybe push through your toes in order to go over the top everytime so that you can be aligned on the beam for a perfect stick. If you need to push through your toes, then how would you have to feel to do that? Maybe focused. If you needed to feel focused in order to push through your toes, then what would you need to think to generate that feeling? A thought could be an affirmation like, “I am capable of pushing through my toes everytime I do my beam series.” If you believe that thought, then you will feel something stir in you. If you feel energized by the emotion, then you might just push through your toes and get the consistent result you want. Try it. See how that works for you. Go be Flippin’ Awesome!

What do I do when I feel Anxious?
I struggle with anxiety and have for a long time. I get panicky and can’t breathe well. It doesn’t matter if it’s something big or small. I tend to think about the worse case scenarios and everything gets to be too hard. I can’t focus on my sport when I feel this way. My brain just goes to more “what if” thoughts. Do you have something that might help?

The first step to alleviating anxiety is answering the question that is causing the anxiety feeling. Remember that anxiety is just an emotion that you have created by focusing on a sentence in your brain. So what sentence are you focusing on? If you are thinking “what if” questions, try writing them down, then answering them. Everytime your brain throws you a “what if” question, sit down and write the question down and answer it. Every single time. As much as you can considering your schedule of an athlete. The brain doesn’t like to not know exactly what to expect. Uncertainty and unknown are scary for the brain. So, help the brain find solutions by answering the questions, which will in turn, calm your brain down. So, if you are thinking a question, answer it with a solution. For example: “What if I miss the shot at the game?”, then I’ll try again or practice making those kinds of shots in practice next week. “What if I not able to practice this week because of my sprained ankle?”, then I’ll do the mental rehearsal of my position that I’ve been learning in the visualization portion of Flippin’ Awesome Program so I can be ready for anything that comes during the game if I’m put in. You will have to tweak these answers to fit your specific situation, but just know that you brain is just seeking some answer to what it thinks might be a problem. Most of the time, there is no actual problem, just one our brain has created to keep us hiding and “safe.” Playing safe and small will never get you want you truly want. Try it out. Go be Flippin’ Awesome

I grew last year and now I’m scared of skills
Last year I grew 4 inches and now I’m scared of skills I used to always do easily. I want to do those skills again, but I hesitate all the time. The more I hesitate, the less I want to do gymnastics.

When you look at the self-coaching ninja model, you would put “I grew 4 inches” in the C-line. The C-line is just a fact. You grew 4 inches is a fact. Now what you are making that mean sounds like something similar to “now it’s going to be harder.” I don’t know. But if you believed gymnastics is harder now that you grew 4 inches, then you may feel hesitant. When you are hesitant, you may not be doing your old skills the same way you used to when you thought they were easy. If you have changed the way you used to do your skills, then your result will be different. Your brain will find evidence why things are different and therefore keep you believing that everything is harder. Now here’s the truth, nothing has gone wrong. You grew 4 inches doesn’t have to mean everything is harder. In fact, I want you to ask yourself, “How could growing 4 inches actually mean everything could be easier for me now?” Find new evidence, focus on other optional thoughts, find reasons why you could be more powerful, more graceful, and more confident with this new height. See what happens when you take time to consider new possibilities and how your growth could work FOR you instead of against you. Write a new self-coaching ninja model on one of your new more useful thoughts and see what the results could be if you practiced believing it. You got this!

Parent of a frustrated athlete
I want my son to be happy in his sport. He wants to quit, but he has so much more he could do. We really think he could get a college scholarship. How can we encourage him to stay in his sport and not give up just because it’s hard right now.

First of all, I want you to really consider why you want him to stay in the sport. Oftentimes, we really think we know what’s best for our children. How do we know? Now, I’m not saying you are right or wrong, but maybe do a thought download and model to see if the reasons you want your son to stay in sports is for him or so you can feel better. If your son came home and said, “You were right, I do love this sport, i’m going to work harder than ever to get that scholarship that I know is waiting for me.” How would you feel? Relieved? If so, then consider that what we think is best for our children might just be mistaken for wanting to feel something other than worry. But, what if you didn’t have to feel worried for your son? What if you just loved your son and he just loved playing ball or not playing ball? Know that you cannot make your son happy. It seems like a great thought, but it will leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed every time you think he’s frustrated and disappointed. You choose thoughts that feel happy, and let him choose thoughts that create whatever he wants to feel in the moment. As you show up the best, happy version of you, you may influence his thoughts to be happier.

A terrible parent
There is a parent of a teammate that is always brown-nosing the coaches and doing everything she can to make my life miserable. She complains about me and tells me that I shouldn’t be on the team. It’s making it hard to play whenever she is at the games. What can I do to stay more focused when I am at games?

First step, remember that there is nobody, no words or actions someone takes that can emotionally touch how you feel. You are the only one who can do that by what you are making the persons words and actions mean about you. When you think of this parent, then you think she is doing something wrong. But what if you were wrong? What if she is doing exactly what she thinks is right in order to help her child get the best level of athletics that she can? What if you were doing something that is making it harder on you by complaining about her? When you say she complains about you, then you might feel judged by her, and when you feel judged, then maybe you are thinking lots of negative thoughts about her and why she needs to be different. In the end you are complaining or judging her. But, do you know what you are not doing? Focusing on your technique, your next play, your position, your next move to make the next best possible play for you and your team. You are not showing up as the best version of you and so you are sabotaging your future dreams by complaining about a mom who may or may not have any influence on your future. You are influencing your future when you spend your energy focused on her instead of your potential. You got this! Find the next best thing that will help you become the next best athlete and do that. Nothign and noone else matters to your capabilities and your future enjoyment of sports.

I wish my dad would support me
I always go to games wishing my dad would come watch. I try to ask him for help, but he never has time and never comes to games. I feel sad and don’t know what to say around him anymore. It’s making it hard to keep going to practice. I don’t know if I want to keep doing volleyball if nobody cares.

What do you want? When you are playing volleyball and you are in your “groove” or feeling totally focused and having a great game, what are thinking and how do you feel? One of the best ways of knowing whether it’s time to quit or not is first, learning to love your sport and second asking yourself, “If everything I ever wanted in this sport was guaranteed to me, would I want to quit now?” When you ask yourself this question, then you’ll get a better insight as to why you are there, what you want to do, and if it’s time to let it go and focus on something else. If you are playing for someone else, then maybe you need to decide if it’s worth it for you to keep playing for just you. You can’t make someone support you. You can make you support you. Get your own back. Love the game if you want to. Believe the thoughts that you would have if you knew for sure you would win and succeed in everyway possible in the future. Be that athlete now, feel that way now, act the way you would as a successful volleyball player now. See how that works for you.

Why do I feel better writing?
It’s funny that I felt like I had a big problem that needed your help, but as I write the problem down, I don’t feel like its such a big deal. Is that normal?

There is research that shows the act of writing down our thoughts creates an awareness that allows us to process what is really going on in a much cleaner and clearer way than trying to organize and analyze the same information in our head. So, that makes absolute sense. Keep writing. You will see your thoughts and realizing what you are creating for yourself as you process through the CTFAR model with those thoughts.

My coach always yells at me
Whenever I try to do something better I get yelled at for doing it wrong by my coach. He is loud and scary and I don’t like him. What can I think when he starts yelling at me?

One of my favorite ways to think about someone who is yelling at me is to pretend they are speaking in another language. If someons yells at you in words that you don’t understand, then you don’t make them mean anything about you usually. You look with curiosity and wonder. The only reason the words your coach bothers you is because you believe some of his words. If he was saying things that you didn’t believe at all, then they wouldn’t bother you at all. You might just think, “Huh, he’s really riled up today over something.” But, if you are feeling bad in anyway about what your coach is yelling, then ask yourself what it is that you are believing and why you believe it. Is it true? And if it is, is it helping you be the best athlete you can be during practice? If not, then focus on something very specific that you can do to help you be a better athlete, then take the thought you are believing and challenge it in a model when you have time outside of practice. See what you think.

What to do with pressure from a coach

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