I'd like to share a story of growing up with my mom as my main rodeo coach. To this day, my mom is one of my best friends, my biggest cheerleaders, my confidant, shoulder to cry on, favorite travel partner, adventurer and explorer. She's my ride-or-die and always has been. But as a hormonal, growing, driven, competitive, teenager, I couldn't always see the things I see now.
Like many families who rodeo together, it was tough sometimes. While I absolutely loved to rodeo with my parents and sincerely appreciated the time, money and effort they put into it, getting coaching from them was really hard sometimes.
I've never doubted that my parents loved me or wanted the best for me. I knew they wanted me to succeed and would do anything they knew how to in order to help me achieve my goals. I KNEW that without a doubt. BUT....it didn't make getting coaching from them easier.
I often found myself frustrated, unwilling, and uncharacteristically stubborn when it came to getting advice and coaching from my parents, especially my mom. I played other sports successfully, was active in speech in drama and extremely involved with my FFA chapter as President and as an FFA competitor. When we went to nationals, we went to win!
I knew I was coachable. Other people could coach me without any issues. It took me YEARS to understand why I struggled so much to accept help from the people who loved me most. I'm still honestly not sure when it actually happened. I know that after coaching hundreds of youth rodeo athletes and actually having the tables turned and coaching my mom for awhile after she had multiple injuries, it all made sense.
I struggled, and still do sometimes today, to take coaching from my parents because they were the people I LEAST wanted to disappoint. When they gave me advice, the STORY I told myself, was that I wasn't good enough for them. I didn't have the ability they thought I needed. I wasn't making them proud. I was disappointing them.
Was any of that true, ABSOLUTLEY NOT! In no way, shape or form is that what they meant by any kind of coaching, advice, critiquing or help they were offering me. They sincerely wanted to help me succeed, but I couldn't see that through the story my head had created.
Today, I've debunked the myth of the story I somehow created over time. To this day, I don't know why or how the story escalated to the level it did. I guess that's the continuous mystery of the human brain, subconscious or whatever else we call the things we don't understand.
By sharing this story...
I hope if you're a kid reading this, you know you're not alone for having the feelings that you have. I also hope that the next time you want to clam up and get mad at your parents in the practice pen, you take a minute to stop and ask yourself, what's the story and is it true?
If you're a parent reading this, I hope you know, it's normal. Your kids just want to make you proud. Next time they lash out, snap, or come back with a snide comment, that you take a moment to ask yourself, how did I present that and what else could it be? I also encourage you to get your kids some lessons and outside coaching! Not only will it take the pressure of your kids to impress you and make you proud all the time, but it will give you someone to lean on when you're trying to get a point across. I promise, it comes off a lot better when you ask, "what would ______ say about _____."
If you've done all of this and you find that you're still in a communication jam, you aren't alone! Please, schedule a coaching call. We offer them for youth rodeo athletes and parents! It takes a village, but you also have to use the resources in the village for the village to serve it's purpose!