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N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
November 7, 2013     N. Warren Town and County News
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November 7, 2013

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Thursday, November 7, 2013 N/Warren Town and County News Page Eleven Advice for Parents By Kim Ward I recently read a great article written by Tim Elmore on the intemet which I feel is valuable reading for parents, grandparents and friends who support young people in any competitive area, whether it be athletic or sports. And whether it is related to school or club organizations. In my work at Growing Leaders, we enjoy the privilege of serving numerous NCAA and professional sports teams each year. After meeting with hundreds of coaches and athletes, I noticed an issue kept surfacing in our conversations. Both the student- athlete and the coach were trying to solve the same problem. What was that prob- lem? The parents of the student-athletes. You may or may not believe this, but even in Division One athletics, parents stay engaged with their child's sport, often at the same level they did through their grow- ing up years. Moms will call coaches and advise them on how to encourage their daughter or son. Dads will call coaches and ask why their kid isn't getting more playing time. Parents will call strength and conditioning coaches and inquire what they're doing about their child's torn ligament. Each of these calls is understandable. After all, no one has more at stake than the parent of a performer They love their child, they've invested in their child and they want to see a "return on their invest- ment." Some athletes refer to their morn as their P.A. (personal assistant) or their agent. I know a mother who watches her collegiate daughter's gymnastics practice behind the glass, all the while, calling and leaving voicemails for the coach on what should be done for her little girl. I even know sets of parents who moved into a condo across the street from their freshman athlete's university. They didn't want to miss a thing and they certainly didn't want to neglect to provide direction. I under- stand this. I am a father of two kids myself. What we parents may not recognize is the pressure and angst this kind of involve- ment applies. May I tell you what student-athletes are telling me? 1. I love my mom, but when she does this, I get the feeling she doesn't trust me. 2. My parents are great, but I feel like I have multiple coaches telling me what to do and I get stressed out over it. 3. I'm getting blackballed by my teammates because my mother keeps texting me and my coach, to give suggestions. I wish she would chill. 4. I feel like I'm never quite good enough; I can never fully please my parents. Moving From Supervisor to Consultant According to years of research on athletes, I believe parents have a more produc- tive impact on their kids by making a change in their style. When our kids were younger, we played the role of supervisor. We were right there on top of the issues. And we should be--they were young and needed our support. As they age, parents must move to the role of consultant. We're still involved, still supportive, but we allow our kids to grow up and self-regulate. When we fail to do this--we can actu- ally stunt-their growth. It's a bit like teaching our kids to ride a bike. Remember this process? First, we gave them a tricycle. The three wheels made it almost impossible for them to fall off and they got used to pedaling a vehicle. Then, they moved to a bicycle. It was bigger and had only two wheels. A little more scary. So we initiated them on that bike with training wheels. That prevented bad accidents. Eventually, however, we took the training wheels off and our involvement became a tender bal- ance of two ingredients: support and letting go. Did you catch that? Support and letting go. What We Should Say When Our Kids Perform The most liberating words parents can speak to their student-athletes are quite simple. Based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements morns and dads can make as they perform are: Before the Competition: After the competition: 1. Have fun. 1. Did you have fun? 2. Play hard. 2. I'm proud of you. 3. I love you. 3. I love you. Six Simple Words... For years, I wondered what the student-athlete would say about this issue. After decades of work with athletes, Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller found out. They sug- gest six simple words parents can express that produce the most positive results in their performing children. After interacting with students, they report: Collegeathletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: "I love to watch you play." That's it. Those six words. How interesting. How liberating to the parent. How empowering to the student-athlete. No pressure. No correction. No judgment. (That's the coach's job.) Just pure love of their child using their gift in competition. When I learned this, I reflected on the years my own kids competed in sports, recitals, theatrical plays and practices. Far too often, I wanted to play a role that added more stress to their life. Instead, I now realize-- I just need to love them. And to love watching them play. From a parent's view--this is the best way to cultivate an emotionally healthy kid. .... :i :,; Can and Bottle Drive for Girls Softball Saturday, Nov. 9, the Outlaws Softball team will be collecting bottles and cans as a fundraiser for the team. They are the Norwalk-based Iowa Outlaws 9U Softball team. The Outlaws organization just started in July of this year and is already the largest Norwalk-based competitive softball organization with five teams. The team practices and plays 10 months out of the year and needs help offsetting costs for equipnlent, facilities and tournaments. They will be going around town collect- . ing on that day or you can drop off your items starting at I p.m. at Fareway. They are also happy to pick up items if you call Jim Grant at 515-554-5830. Photo submit- ted. Shoot the Moon Pictured are members of the Norwalk Soccer Club U10 Purple Lightning team. They won the Gold medal at the Adel Shoot the Moon soccer tournament this past weekend. They were also undefeated in their regular season. Back row, left to right:. Coach Matt Schreiber, Lexi Johnson, Alexis Popken, Halley Schreiber, Hannah Kehoe, Coach Brandon Endres. Front row, left to right: Reagan Teut, Mor- gan Weeks and Annika Wallace. Photo submitted. ECC Students Place in Collegiate Horse Judging Seven Ellsworth Community College students attended the Collegiat e Horse Judg- ing Contest (Junior College ,Division ) at the American Quarter Horse Congress in October and came home 'with 20 total awards. ECC student participants were Bailey Collins of Ames; Scarlett Hanson of Cambria, WI; Tabatha Huber of Steamboat Rock; Emily Miller of Colo; Taylor Morgan of New Providence; Katie Rinkert of Prole; and Victoria Rohwer of Anchorage, AK. They were accompanied by ECC Coach and Equine Associate Professor Megan Gogerty. The ECC team placed 4th in team overall performance, 5th in team overall halter, 5th in team reasons and 5th in high team overall. Individually, Miller placed 11th in high individual overall performance. The Junior College Division of the Collegiate Horse Judging Contest at the Ameri- can Quarter Horse CongreSs was held October 16 in Columbus, OH. The ECC team will compete November 21 in the American Quarter Horse Association World Cham- pionship Collegiate Horse Judging Contest in Oklahoma City, OK. Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell "em, "Certainly, I can!" Then get busy and 'find ou how. to do it ..... "'"  ..... -Theodore Roosevelt Pictured at the competition, left to right:Taylor Morgan, Scarlett Hanson, Emily Miller, Victoria Rohwer, Bailey Collins, Katie Rinkert ECC Associate Profess6r Megan Gogerty and Tabatha Huber. Photo submitted.  ;