So often we harp on the dark side of children’s sports. We discuss the psycho-parent, the bratty bully, over-training children, embarrassing performances and more. We tend to remember the bad things but have a hard time recalling good things. I learned at a business conference in a discussion of brain functionality (yeah, I go to some doozie business seminars) that the brain issues the same chemical when “documneting” a memory as it does when it has a negative stimulus. So actually there is a very real chemical reason why we recall negatives more than positives; our brain remembers them by using the same chemicals to create memories. So many times we remember the stubbed toe, the lost parking spot, the guy who sneezed on your plate at lunch or the rude teller at the bank and we often misplace remembering the person who asked if we were OK, the woman who let us in line ahead of her or the friendly cashier. It’s in that vein that we remember the murders, and fires on the news and not the rescued kittens. It’s that same way when we think about kids sports. We remember the crazy parent not the 400 other wonderful parents that we meet at competitions or at the gym. As a parent in our lobby, do you see the one coach who is sitting down (this is an example, our coaches do not sit) and tired looking or do you see the 10 other coaches smiling and lovingly teaching your children? Do you see the crying child frustrated at the beam skill or the child next to her glowing because beam is her favorite event?
Look out from the lobby and notice how much support there is in the gym, notice the other parents noticing too. Can you see what is really going on? Can you see that learning can often be frustrating but it’s always in a state of progress that we tend to find frustration? That’s a good thing.
Lastly look at yourself. Does your attitude show your children what you want them to see? Do you model what you want people to remember? When other parents are looking for good impressions of kids sports, do they think of you?
Remember that our brain chemistry is pushing us to remember negative things, you have got to be really really good to be remembered in the mire of negative images and associations. Are you getting remembered?