Habits can either make you or break you. As an adult, you know the power they have over you. That’s why it’s so important for you to help your kids start developing good habits early. And this is especially true when it comes to playing sports.
My guest writer today knows all about playing, coaching, and parenting. His name is Niyi Sobomehin, former NFL football player and founder of Pro Squad Athletics. Niyi share how you can help your kid gain confidence and sharpen skills with new habits.
How do you help your athlete get BETTER, when you have no idea what it takes to be good at his sport? How do you make sure that he or she is doing what it takes to improve? How do you make this fun and exciting for your athlete? What can you do as a parent to move your child closer towards his goals when you’re not his coach and have no experience in the sport?
For parents that want to be involved in their child’s sports process, the best ways to support are not always clear. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and feel like you need to be the expert, coach, trainer and cheerleader for your child…and that usually leads to strains in relationships and failed expectations.
As a former NFL running back, father of 5 and having personally coached and trained over 60 athletes, I will show you a proven 9 step system that will help your child develop true skills in the most important areas, and have fun & strengthen your relationship in the process.
As parents of athletes, there are no shortage of habits, routines and tasks you wish your son or daughter would commit to doing, ALL the time. There’s homework, chores, and a whole host of other responsibilities young athletes have…and then of course there are the things that their coaches wish they would do at home to make them better at their sport. When are they supposed to find the time to shoot those free throws? Practice their dribbling? Watch that film? Do those push ups? Stretch? Is it even realistic or fair to expect that your child can accomplish all of these things?
What I have found in my experience is that the key to sustainable success and growth is consistency…and that means developing bulletproof habits. If we as parents don’t learn to help manage and instill positive habits and routines in our children’s lives, we will be cheating them out of major progress and success they could have in their sport and in school.
Children are inherently limitless in their potential, and our jobs as parents is to nurture their growth and development…to propel them to their GREATNESS! The most effective, proven, and impactful ways we can do this is by showing them the power of Habits.
Here is my 9 step technique that I have used to create positive, skill developing habits that my kids and athletes have come to enjoy:
Step 1: Sell your kids on the benefits of habit
How are they supposed to buy in, when they haven’t been sold? It’s our job as parents to connect the dots for them. Show them the habits in their life already, and they how they help them. Show them that EVERYTHING is habit, so we may as well create some good ones.
Step 2: Choose the new habits
Sit down with your kids and find the areas they want to improve. When they have a stake in their own success, it gives them a sense of pride and responsibility. Choose habits and skills that can be practiced easily.
Step 3: Find their why
Having a very compelling”Why”, or reasons for why they are doing what they are doing, is the secret sauce to great habits. This is what will motivate them even when you can’t. To find their “Why”, ask great questions. “What feeling will you get by getting really good at this?” “What do you think is possible if you got just a little better each day?” “How do you feel when you do really well in your sport? Why?”
Step 4: Set up a rewards system
Don’t fall in the trap of “not wanting to spoil your child”. Rewards, however small, are scientifically proven to develop unbreakable habits. Your brain has to associate pleasure with doing the task. Talk with your child about what would motivate them, and make it happen! They deserve it.
Step 5: Choose the right time
Timing is everything. Pick a time that is consistent to perform the habits. Before dinner. After school. Before Bed. Be consistent.
Step 6: Track all progress
Keep track, on charts, of everyday they do their habits. Make them visible, and let them check it off. My kids take a lot of pride from checking off their daily disciplines, and it adds to their confidence to see a streak of days completed.
Step 7: Remove barriers
Make it easy to commit and execute their habits by putting out equipment the day before, placing charts in visible places, and taking other steps to increase their ability and willingness. Something as simple as having to walk to the basement to get their basketball may prevent them from doing it. Make it easy!
Step 8: Make it an event
Another way to make your kids habits fun is to block out time to do them while making it an event…a party even! Play some music, get their brothers and sisters in on the action, and do the habits with them. Great habits can bring your family closer, but only if you decide to.
Step 9: Celebrate..often!
Find anytime you can to celebrate the achievement of your kids discipline, focus and execution. Encourage it. Brag about it to your friends (in front of them, of course). Lift them up! Kids need to be praised, and in my opinion, we can’t do that enough. Kids don’t always need us to play the tough guy parent role all the time…They need love and encouragement, and life should be FUN for them. So get creative with your celebrations. Bust out the Martinelli’s at Dinner. Take them for an ice cream cone after practice. Get them that game they wanted. But be sure to tie it back to their discipline and habits.
Are You Ready for the Next Step to Creating Habits?
With proper implementation the right habits can alter the course of your son or daughter’s life forever….For those of you who want implement a habit system in your home with your athlete, I put together a FREE 12 page e-book, available for download here.
The 12-page book includes:
- Step by step guide for how to implement system
- Sample scripts and analogies to use with your kids
- Printable custom charts for both boys and girls, to track progress
- Proven reward system ideas, complete with pictures
- Sample charts from some of my most successful athletes