‘Each time I step on the basketball court, I never know what will happen. I live for the moment. I play for the moment.’
— Michael Jordan
Athletes pursue being in the zone – an optimal state of mind and body that enables them to produce their best performances.
Have you ever been in the zone with your parenting?
A time when everything came together, you were fully focused on your child, and you know your actions were fully aligned with the parent you want to be for your child?
One of the key elements of the zone athletes consistently report is that they are fully focused on the task at hand – that their full attention is given to the present moment.
They aren’t thinking about a play that happened five minutes ago, nor are they spending any mental energy on what might happen in the future. Instead they are fully absorbed in the ‘Now’ – in the present moment.
Our society is heavily focused on winning.
Prioritizing winning over the development and enjoyment of the child is at the heart of what troubles youth sport today. This isn’t likely to change soon, so I invite you to redefine the word, to redefine what it means to win.
Let win, W, I, N, stand for What’s Important Now?
The way to win is to on goingly ask yourself: What’s Important Now?
Think of a great moment you’ve had parenting. Pick one time that you consider magical – one that you would love to have every day if you could.
You were in the Zone parenting. Put yourself back at that moment and feel what you were feeling, see what you were seeing, and hear what you were hearing.
In that moment, where was your focus? Were you focused on the past? The future? Not likely.
You most likely were totally focused on the present moment, on what was going on at that very moment with your child. For that all-too-short period, time did not exist – there was no past, no future, only now.
I’m willing to bet this was also a special moment for your child. He or she had your full attention, right here, right now and, whether they’d admit it or not, there are few things they value more in life than your attention.
Kids don’t want your money or even your time – they want your attention, your energy. They want to feel the connection that comes when you are fully present with them.
Too often we as parents are juggling so many different things that although we are with them physically, our minds are miles away.
The same happens to athletes. Baseball batters talk about ‘giving away’ at-bats because they were just going through the motions, not really there.
Pete Rose told me he got the most hits because he almost never gave away at-bats – he made sure he was always fully engaged in each trip to the plate.
When parents of grown kids speak of regrets they have about how they were with their kids – like they seemed to ‘miss’ it – they often are really saying they weren’t present.
They may have been there at the games physically, but mentally they were somewhere else, too caught up by the hustle and bustle of shuttling the kids around while handling the demands of work and home.
They ‘gave away’ precious moments the way an unconscious hitter gives away at-bats.
Basketball coach John Wooden, famous for winning many championships and winning 81 consecutive games, almost never spoke of winning. He said wanted his players to walk off the field with that ‘peace of mind that comes from doing everything you could.’
When kids experience your being fully present with them, they get that you care about them.
That what you say is for their highest good. They are more likely to listen to and respect
So, What’s Important Now?
Bonus: How to Be Present
Remember, the key to your being able to teach these principles and skills to your child is for you to possess them yourself. You can’t give away what you don’t have.
There are many techniques available, but I’ll keep it simple: Create the intention to be present.
Make it part of your Game Plan that you review each day. ‘Today I will be present with my child.’
Having the intention/commitment to be present is the single biggest aid to being present. Think of the last movie you really enjoyed. Did you have to tell yourself to be present, to be fully focused on what was going on right in each moment? No.
You know how to be present, you likely just aren’t committed to doing it.
When notice you are not present, simply return your focus to what is going on Now.
Dr. Tom Hanson helps players, coaches and parents have more fun, perform great, and develop life success skills. Past clients include the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and many other pro and college teams and individuals. He co-authored the baseball classic “Heads-Up Baseball” and gives away his #1 secret to baseball success at BaseballSuccessSecrets.com.
Article from articlesbase.com
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