In June of 2014 our son, Jordan, was drafted by the Colorado Rockies to play professional baseball.
Seeing his name in the draft was one of the most exciting moments of his life, especially because he didn’t know it was going to happen. Sure, a few scouts had been calling him, but they always hung up with some version of,
“Well, good luck in the draft, Kid. I hope it works out for ya.”
In fact, Jordan was working at a golf tournament when he refreshed the draft tracker on his phone and saw his height and weight, then his school and then his name. With some shock, he said to his buddy,
“Oh my gosh, I just got drafted!”
About 15 seconds later, the Rockies scout called him, very excited and said,
“We drafted you!”
Haha. His buddy whispered to all the golfers around the putting green,
“This guy just got drafted!”
They all set down their putters to come shake his hand.
Within a few days, he was off to chase a new phase of his dream…the very humble phase of minor league baseball.
While he only played for a few seasons, his experience reminded of a few things:
DON’T SAY YOU CAN’T
I thought back to the first year Jordan played organized baseball. He was already 10 years old, which is old in this crazy day and age. At any rate, he ran to the chain link fence after a game one day and looked at his dad and me with a big smile.
“I’m going to play professional baseball someday!” He said, and off he ran to join his team.
Immediately, his dad looked at me and said,
“He’ll never do it. He’s way too lazy.”
With a gasp, I grabbed my husband’s hands, looked him in the eyes and said,
“Let’s just promise each other that we will never be the ones who tell him all the reasons that he can’t.”
Paul smiled a repentant grin and nodded his head.
Over the next few years, I would watch Jordan work really hard at his craft and work diligently on his mental game.
He didn’t have tons of offers after high school. He was invited to red shirt at the closest Division 1 school, and he was invited to start at a nearby Junior College. He chose the JUCO so he wouldn’t have to sit on a bench.
And that’s where he shined!
When he faltered, he would call me, set an appointment to be my own client and keep his appointments like a pro.
At the end of his second year at Columbia State Community College, he had seven invitations to continue playing ball. He chose Tennessee Tech and it was a perfect fit for him. A bunch of his teammates also went pro and I can’t wait to see where they all end up.
Right now, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help in your kid’s journey.
1. DO make sure the dream is your player’s true goal and not somehow yours.
2. DON’T demonstrate your own fears & anxieties about his performance.
3. DO have a system (or mental coach) to help out when he performs beneath his potential.
4. DON’T complain about coaches, umpires, sports politics and things outside your control.
5. DO focus on gratitude all along the way and help your player do the same.
6. DON’T carry your kids’ bags, take him home before he helps clean up the field, or act like he is the center of the universe.
7. DO pursue the most competitive opportunities you can.
8. DON’T give advice unless he asks for it first.
9. DO find the best coaches and programs possible.
And because I’d hate to end on a negative one last DO:
10. DO enjoy the journey and use it to teach goal setting beyond the game.
If you or somebody around you is working towards a dream of their own, are you emphasizing reasons they can or can’t?
Let’s be “You can do it!” people. The world needs encouragers. When you look for all the reasons others can be great, you will unknowingly raise the level of greatness in yourself as well.
Have you ever had somebody in your life who believed in you? Did it make a difference?
Gina Parris is a speaker & peak performance coach for The Competitive Soul. She’s passionate about helping you or your whole team, WIN your game & LOVE your life.
Gina Parris is a speaker & peak performance coach for The Competitive Soul. She’s passionate about helping you or your whole team, WIN your game & LOVE your life. She gathered 20 of the top mental coaches to help you bring out the best in your player. Click here for the Mental Game All-Star Summit.