In my swimming world, I am faced with a lot of obstacles surrounding “the story of swim meets.”
Years ago, Dan Pink and I had a discussion about swim meets. He did not like them, “you spent all day and if you weren’t paying attention, could miss your child’s 14 second race.”
Unfortunately, while Dan is an extremely smart man who studies organizations and has written several New York Times bestselling books, he had blindspots about his kids’ swim meets due to the stories he was telling himself.
First, swim meets are a “GIANT playdate and your house stays clean.”
Second, what Dan was missing was the learning that occurs prior to the meet, and during the meet … outside of that 14 second race.
At swim meets kids learn to:
- overcome their anxiety.
- practice being brave as they stand on the blocks believing the whole world is watching them … in reality, no one is watching, except maybe their coach and hopefully their parent!
- connect with other humans (kids, adults, coaches, volunteers). In this digital age, swim meets are an excellent time to play cards, run around the pool together, pull out the legos and build something as a group of kids, and cultivate patience as they wait for their race.
- practice developing a growth mindset. This of course would be Dan Pink approved. It’s tough being a kid these days. They aren’t allowed to fail. If they do that in school, their academic options may alter dramatically. Kids don’t have much recess or play time to discover how to work things out. At a swim meet, they can fail and it won’t be costly (outside of getting disqualified and not earning a ribbon or a qualifying time).
- engage their brain before, during and after a race. Prior to the race, their coach will give them directions on what to focus on while they race. During the race, the child will have the opportunity to execute what they are supposed to do. After the race they can discuss what worked and what did not work.
- receive feedback – both what went well and what sucked. This allows the child to cultivate resilience and experience the truth that they don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.
Over time, my MONSTER parents have changed their stories about these swim meets.
When they begin to see beyond the old stories about how horrendous the meets are, they are able to see the beauty of swim meets and the value it brings to their family, as well as their child’s development.
I bet I even changed your story about swim meets with my reframe above …
What stories are getting in your way and creating huge blind spots. Isn’t it time to rewrite that story?
P.S. I have some great news for you: the new ENOUGH group registration is now open. This is your invitation…no obligation opportunity to sign up for a free consult to find out how ENOUGH can change your life