Is your child struggling? Maybe he’s in a slump, or perhaps she’s feeling unmotivated. I’d like to tell you about one word that will raise your child’s game.
I saw my kids struggle several times through the years as they played. And it wasn’t because they didn’t want to play; it’s just that they weren’t sure why they wanted to play.
One word can change all that for your young athlete and that word is Purpose.
Two Kinds of Purpose
Let’s dig a little deeper into the idea of playing for purpose. Best selling author and behavioral science expert Daniel Pink explains that there are two kinds of purposes.
Purpose with a Capital P
Playing with Purpose-with-a-capital-P means your child is playing for a purpose bigger than himself. As Pink puts it, “doing something transcendent.”
When your child feels discouraged and questions why he is even playing the sport, ask him what is his Big Purpose for playing? His Big Purpose may simply be to work hard and earn a scholarship for college or maybe she is passionate about being a positive role model for younger athletes.
As a family of faith, we often saw the Big Purpose as honoring God. Our kids would often strive to do their best simply to please Him because He does get pleasure out of His children fully using their gifts.
Helping your child determine Her Big Purpose for playing sports may be an ongoing endeavor. You may have to help them figure it out by asking key questions to make them think about the bigger Why.
Purpose with a Small P
Playing with Purpose-with-a-small P means getting pleasure in knowing that by merely doing your job you are making a contribution to others, and in the case of your child, to the team.
Smaller Purpose includes things like: building up teammates, encouraging opponents, or helping someone who is less fortunate or skilled.
When my youngest was a senior in high school, she lost some of her playing time in basketball and was seriously considering quitting the team after the first few weeks. As we discussed this, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I can’t quit, though, Mom. If I do, who will pray with the team before each game?” She knew her Small Purpose was to encourage and build up the team by praying for them each game. That was the thing that kept her on the team and she finished the season contributing more to the heart of that team than any other player.
Help your child find his Small Purpose by asking questions like:
- What do you love most about playing?
- Tell me about moments when you are having the most fun in the game.
When your kids are little, their purpose, big and little P, is simply to have fun and be with their friends. But the longer your child plays sports, the more likely she will be to get to a point where she wonders, why am I playing anyway?
We all ask ourselves the WHY question: Why am I here? What is my purpose in this job?
You need to be able to answer that and so do your kids, in all areas of life. Identifying the Big Purpose and the Smaller Purpose for playing sports will motivate your children to keep working even on days when the motivation has slacked.
Are you struggling with understand the Big and Smaller Purposes for an area of your life? Are you trying to help your child figure it out as well?
I’m a certified life coach who can help you. I’m not a counselor, therapist, or even a consultant. I will not tell you what to do, but I will help you figure out what to do.
I believe so strongly in the value of life coaching (I’m being coached myself) that I will give you your first two sessions for only $25 each, over 50% off the usual hourly rate. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the code: one question.
I look forward to hearing from you!