It is of almost no importance to me whether my children can play sports well. If I wrote a list of the top 1,000 things I wanted for them, sports aptitude would not make the list.
Nevertheless, I like sports and I want my children to like sports (in a moderate, balanced and healthy way). So I spend a good bit of time playing with them and training them.
For example, I have spent a lot of time teaching David how to be a football receiver. He knows the names of the routes and how to run them crisply. I have taught him the little fakes that will get him open and he knows how to catch over his shoulder.
But like many physical skills, the critical component to being a good football receiver is not physical at all. It occurs in the brain.
We have a motto when we play football. If you ask my children what it is, they will tell you immediately.
I will catch the football NO MATTER WHAT.
Sometimes, my boys catch everything. It does not matter whether I throw it over their head, whether they get hit when they catch it or whether they have to dive for it. Those are the times when I know that they are remembering and living our motto.
But at other times, they start dropping balls they should catch. Or they don’t try as hard as they could to catch up with a ball thrown over their head. And at those times, I don’t have to fix their physical skills; I just have to remind them of our motto.
Our eight-word motto has four critical ideas built into it.
* I can catch the ball.
* I have control over whether I catch the ball or not.
* I am taking ownership for catching the ball (no excuses).
* I am going to do everything in my power to catch the ball.
This is powerful stuff. And of course, it applies to things that are far more important than catching a football.
You already know what I have written here. But we all need reminders from time to time. Just in case you needed a reminder as you start this week, this blog post is it. Go live it.