Sunday Setting Sights on Success

Stress Reducing Coaching Tip – Don’t Forget Yourself

Getting something off the mind and on to paper is a great first step to stress reducing behavior. The following stress reducing coaching method has helped me numerous times over the years. It is simply the letter, “Never to be sent and only for self-viewing.”

As a player, coach, and parent of athletes, I cannot begin to count the number of sleepless nights I have had. It is not like I lost perspective, it’s just that sports becomes a big part of serious sports minded people. Many trying moments wake one up in the night with that helpless feeling of what could have been and/or the feeling of not knowing what to do next. The helpless feeling of not knowing ways to help struggling and frustrated young players is very common, and a constant dilemma for parents of serious minded baseball players.

stress reducing coaching tip

Stress reducing coaching tip

A responsibility of adults is helping players learn to deal with adversity, both personal and team. However, often, adults around the game have more adversity than youth, for a variety of reasons, as dealing with other parents or players, etc. In addition, youth often prove to be more resilient than adults are.

A first step to helping youth overcome adversity is learning to overcome it themselves. Coaches (and parents) must learn to deal with their frustrations, too. When adults struggle to deal with those on a personal level, unfortunate things get spoken or negative incidents result from the pent up frustration.

Stress Reducing Coaching Tip – Note to Self

A great way for adults to ease their frustrations and rid them of sleepless nights is with the letter to self. Before even trying to sleep, adults should send themselves a letter that they write about the situation. Adults should list out the things that bother them followed by possible solutions to the problem.

For example, answering these questions are a good beginning for helping situation.

  1. What, or who, is bothering me so much?
  2. How upset is my son, daughter, or player?
  3. Am I taking it too hard and/or over reacting?
  4. What are all the possible ways of fixing this situation?
  5. What is the best of those solutions for my child first, and then for me?

This proactive practice of writing a note to self often helps clear the mind, especially when solutions seem possible. Just being able to write out the situation and see it on paper takes it out of one’s mind and into a concrete, view able problem. The next step is to sleep or try to sleep on the written thoughts to review in the morning. At that time, they can review what they wrote, make adjustments, and follow up on possible solutions.

The good news is that often just writing out the problem and solution helps one to move on from the situation. Of course, the other good news is that the better night sleep refreshes one to think more clearly. Many negative youth sport situations disappear with this note-to-self, writing practice.


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