Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Mirror Can Be A Powerful Weapon!

I don't like to vent, usually. I'm learning to simply "let things go," not allowing emotional garbage to clog the system. When we vent, we release it from our own bodies, but we then give it someone else. This morning, though, I need to free this specific negativity... hopefully someone will get something out of it.

While getting coffee this morning, I ran into Katherine, a mom of  a former student. Oh my goodness, did we have some fun words for each other - - more on that later. Her daughter (we'll call her Cindy for this post) was an incredible athlete, and actually had professional talent, but lacked the mental toughness needed for the next level. Actually, she lacked the mental fortitude for the elite high school level.

When Cindy and I began working together, it was obvious that she was incredibly bright... maybe too bright. She would constantly over analyze her game, as a mathematician would analyze an equation. She saw every flaw in herself, not allowing freedom and imagination to enter her mindset. I remember something she said to me in our first session...

"I know I won't improve this (specific) weakness - it's too imbedded. My mom's right!


Do you see any red flags yet?!

I worked with Cindy for about 8 months, a short amount of time for this type of training. Together, we made wonderful improvements in her mental game... yet, MOM was never satisfied! It didn't matter what the journey was looking like, mom only wanted the win at the end of the day. Sad, yeah?

Back to the morning coffee experience...

After the normal small talk, I asked Katherine how Cindy was doing during her senior year of high school. These were her exact words:

"She's doing o.k., but isn't getting the full college scholarship that she deserves... mainly because, in my opinion, you didn't teach her well enough, how to win. My husband and I paid you a lot of money to teach  our daughter how to conquer her losing problem. What happened?" 

I immediately walked to my car, grabbed my wife's pocket mirror... and held it up in front of Katherine's face!

(O.k., not really - but I sure wanted to).












12 comments:

Rettakat said...

Wow, I absolutely can see why that would be frustrating for you! The power of that parents words, to shape that young lady's mind... and the parent not even "getting it", clueless.

The fact that you have a little daughter of your own must increase the exasperation of the situation. How old will that girl be when/if she finally is able to throw off those limiting words planted in her mind? I think of that, because it took me, literally, decades, to overcome things that were said to me while growing up.

Let's hope that the words you spoke to the girl will be like seeds, planted in her mind, and can eventually grow.

Loretta
=^..^=

PS: two words jumped out to me from this post... mental toughness. I kind of feel like it really is the overall theme of your blog, in a way. If so inclined, I would love to read a post where you address it specifically. I know there are no short-cuts, but maybe some pointers in the right direction.

Patrice said...

OH MY GOD!
This is quite sad :(
I feel bad for Cindy, but especially for her Mother. She doesn't realize that she has mentally crippled her daughter. She taught her to think and believe that she is not good enough.

I'm at a loss for words...

Missy said...

I don't know whether to be sad or to be angry. I just do not understand parents like that.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

You should have held a full length mirror in front of her... I am curious to know what you said to her after that...

It is sad this woman/mother just does not get! Thank you for this, it is a good one for me to keep in mind in raising my own children.

Dayne Gingrich said...

At first, I thought she was joking... for obvious reasons. WHO says that kind of garbage? (ohh- she does).

I wanted to go down "her road," but chose to simply say, "I'm sorry I let your family down. She has a ton of potential, and will eventually grow to see it all."

Debbie said...

THat will forever stay with that girl....I always try to be careful on what I say to my boys. One is very athletic the other one not so much...however I encourage him every step of the way. He wanted to try out for the school BB team...he went as far as the table, and heard some kids laughing and asking him if he was trying out.....hence you walked away. Broke my heart...as I know my son would never be that cruel to another kid wanting to try to do something. Anyhow, he played for the YMCA and did awesome...he is just too hard on himself! I like your blog, your daughter and wife are adorable!

Bendigo said...

It's an unfortunate circumstance. I would love to say that I'm as tough as you are and would have taken the high road. I tend to believe I would have slunk down the low road and lashed back..

Good for you that you could maintain your composure...Sadly that woman will probably never realize that she is the single largest obstacle for her own child...

a.z.i.a said...

this officially wins "most ridiculous thing i've heard today..."

why does our society have a constant need to blame our shortcomings on other people?

parents have a responsibility to nurture and support their children... not to stress and inevitably wear them out. "losing problem" ugh!!

spldbch said...

"Losing problem." Wow. Doesn't anyone who plays the "game" lose at least sometimes? Does that mean we shouldn't play? What a boring life that would be!

Parents who are too critical have no idea the damage they do to their children's self esteem.

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Twice the Man said...

this is good stuff to think on