What often frustrates parents is that they have to continually nag, beg, or plead for their child to practice. There are not many secrets to success. However, one secret that I think holds true is the ability of, “Just One More.” When we are tired and fatigued, the key is to be able to endure, “Just One More.” One more rep, writing one more page, or one more sales phone call. “Just One More,” builds mental toughness.
As parents, we have all probably announced this “Just One More,” technique. We push just a little bit (some unfortunately, a lot) for our son or daughter to give more effort. Often, it is effective. However, as parents communicating with their child, the attitude of “Just One More,” can backfire. Add up the number of practices and seasons of one more and that is a lot of externally driven passion in the form of nagging, or strong-arming our son or daughter into practice.
To build your child’s mental toughness and passion, try this technique instead: End practice early!
Hall of Fame tennis coach Jeff Smith helped build the passion in his son Bryan by ending practice early. First, he would tell Bryan how long they were going to hit tennis balls on the court. The time could vary from 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour. So, if they were going to hit for 45 minutes, after 20 or 25 minutes, he would end practice and tell Bryan they were ending.
Bryan, having fun, didn’t want to end early. His son instead would ask, beg, and plead for his dad to continue and the seed of passion was slowly built without external or coercion of one more.
Dr. Rob Bell is a sports psychologist and founder of DRB Associates. Rob is based in Indianapolis and works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness. For more information on mental toughness or to subscribe to his newsletter, visit www.drrobbell.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, @drrobbell