Celebrating Gratitude

Earlier this month Kings Hammer SC participated in Gratitude Week in conjunction with our partners, Soccer Parenting.  Throughout the week of Feb 13th-17th, Soccer Parenting provided opportunities and suggestions for showing gratitude to the people around us who help to make our sport thrive-Parents, Coaches, Referees, Players, Team Admin, and Club Leaders.  In addition, Soccer Parenting posted an article on How Can Gratitude Improve Performance.  The following benefits were listed as a part of this article:

5 Benefits of Demonstrating Gratitude

  • GRATITUDE helps you sleep better
  • GRATITUDE helps your self-esteem
  • GRATITUDE helps open your mind
  • GRATITUDE improves your relationships
  • GRATITUDE enhances your mental and physical health

Here are two of the resources listed for the Soccer Parenting article:

Dan Abrahams Webinar – Supporting Athletes in Developing Motivation, Resilience, and Optimism

Dan Abrahams is a globally recognized Sports Psychologist who has worked with athletes and teams at every level and sport, as well as in the corporate realm. He has also authored a number of highly regarded books addressing areas such as resilience, motivation, adversity, and performance.  I had the good fortune to see Dan Abrahams speak to coaches at the recent United Soccer Coaches conference in Philadelphia and was excited to be able to catch him on this webinar.  I would encourage all parents and coaches to check it out on the Soccer Parenting Resource site.  Here are some highlights:

Impact of Gratitude on performance

  • Reflecting on and rehearsing best moments, strengths, and resources can create an emotional shift
  • Impacts 4 C’s-Control, Commitment, Concentration, and Confidence
  • Coaches can implement a 1 minute reflection prior to practices, pairs of players can share
  • Parents can support similar activity in car ride on the way to practice or game

Developing More Effective Parent and Player Conversations

  • First, remember not to force conversations, be open and ready when they are.
  • Parents need to learn how to explore the clues their child leave in conversations
  • Remember to reflect or mirror their thoughts and feelings back to them without judgement
  • Scaling-ask them to rate their practice, their game, their performance, etc. on a scale of 1-10
  • 1=awful, 10=amazing; then ask “what made it that good,” or “what made it that bad”
  • Search for ways for them to see optimism; “Tell me More”

Finding Control by Using Cues

  • Performance improves when players can focus on controllable variables rather than uncontrollable
  • Players (parents and coaches can help here) develop one to three attentional cues to focus on
  • Should be Specific, Controllable, and Positive; based on role within team and from previous strengths
  • “Play Really Well, Win, and Score a Goal”-too generic and not controllable; can lead to anxiety
  • “Don’t miss the shot,” Don’t lose the ball on dribble,” Don’t Drop my head”-too negative
  • “Make good runs into the box,” “Check my shoulders when receiving ball,” “Keep good body language”

For more from Dan Abrahams visit any or all of these areas:

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