This week on Mental Mondays
This week on Mental Mondays with Ben Askren, Ben continues to explore topics that inspired him at the Super 32 Championships. This time the focus is on wrestling parents, instead of the wrestlers themselves.
The Atmosphere Matters
Most parents genuinely want to help their child in any way possible. But, they run into trouble when they don’t know how to effectively do so. In return they find themselves in a situation where it is difficult to keep their emotions in check. This can happen easily, especially at large wrestling tournaments like Super 32. Reflecting back upon the wrestling environments at Super 32, Ben notes the massive energy shift. Shifting between the gyms that contained the high school and youth wrestling tournaments.
High School vs Youth
The gym where the high school wrestling was held was mostly calm and the coaching was generally effective and transmitted well to the wrestler. When you walked into the youth gym, it was complete chaos. Inside the youth gym parents were screaming repeatedly at their youth wrestler. All with an unnecessary intensity. This helped to create a very tense and difficult wrestling environment for the wrestlers where it becomes almost impossible for the athlete to perform effectively. Ben compares this type of environment to your work environment, explaining if you were an accountant and someone were to come into your office and just scream at you, DO THOSE TAXES, all day long, you wouldn’t be able to do your work. You need to be in the emotional state that you want the wrestler to compete in.
Advice From Experience
Ben reflects upon his own experiences growing up. When he was roughly 11 years old, his own father was rather intense. This was until another parent told his father that he was acting like a crazy person and needed to relax. From then on, his father allowed Ben to learn from his coaches and better flourish. Ben still had the support from his father that he needed but it was without him constantly being the one to push the issue on the mat. Ben saw a similar situation at Super 32 and did a similar thing for that parent. Let the coaches do the coaching.
Support your child but be able to separate yoursefl from the wrestling and allow the coaches to coach. You don’t always know what is best for them and that is why the coaches are there. Ultimately, not only will this be beneficial to your wrestler’s success but it will also be beneficial to your relationship with your child.
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