5 Ways Parents Can Train Their Kids Like an Olympic Athlete

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Olympic athletes and parents can use the same tools to train themselves and their kids. Jim Murphy, author of the new book by McGraw-Hill, Inner Excellence: Achieve Extraordinary Business Success Through Mental Toughness, explains how to use the mental skills of Olympic champions.

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Olympic athletes and parents can use the same tools to train themselves and their kids. Jim Murphy, author of the new book by McGraw-Hill, Inner Excellence: Achieve Extraordinary Business Success Through Mental Toughness, explains how to use the mental skills of Olympic champions.

1. Focus on values. If you want your kid to have more confidence in their sport, encourage them when they show compassion, teamwork, and discipline. When you focus on values, you give them the freedom to fail, which allows them to win more often. [Top Olympians lead with their heart and connect with what they value most.]

2. Detach from the outcome. If you're like most parents, you're happy when your kid succeeds in sports, and disappointed when they don't. It's natural. But it also connects your love to their success. Don't get too excited about the outcome (win or lose); it sends a subconscious message that ties their performance to your love for them. Go to their games, cheer for them, and love them for who they're becoming, not how they performed. [Top Olympians focus on how they want to feel and let the outcome take care of itself.]

3. Write 3-5 goals everyday as if they were already true. For example, if your kid wants to be the starting shortstop on the baseball team, you may have him write: I love playing baseball and being the starting shortstop. Have some school ones too. For example: I am focused and confident every day at school as I achieve a B average. [Top Olympians affirm their goals every day as if they were already true.]

4. Remember the great moments. Spend five minutes every day with your kid visualizing great performances from the past. Remind him or her of a great performance and ask about that moment and how it felt. Then tell your child to "re-live" that moment and get the feeling again. This can be a powerful time you spend with your kids every day. [Top Olympians are continually re-visiting great memories of past performances].

5. Weed out the negative thoughts. Every day you and your kids will have negative thoughts. This is perhaps the biggest obstacle either of you will ever face. Here's four ways to deal with them:
    1. Wear a rubber band and snap it each time you have a negative thought.
    2. Replace the negative thought with the complete opposite. (I'm going to fail becomes I'm going to succeed.)
    3. Yell "stop!" in your mind and picture an oversize STOP sign.
    4. Tell yourself, "It's only a negative thought" and go back to what you're doing. Negative thoughts only have power over you by what you give them, and you give them power when you let them linger in your mind. [Top Olympians develop keen self-awareness of their thoughts and feelings and continually direct them towards their goals and dreams.]

Jim Murphy, MHK, MNLP, is a turnaround expert who consults and inspires elite athletes, teams, and corporations. As seen on Fox Sports News, Mental Skills Coach, Murphy’s motivational seminars apply the same fundamentals to business that have created stunning success for teams at the collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels. Murphy has also written articles for various newspapers including The New York Daily News, The Province and the Tri-Cities Herald. To set up an interview with Jim Murphy, please contact Jim at jim(at)innerexcellence(dot)com or 604-319-1905. Website: http://www.innerexcellence.com.

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