You are driving to the arena, the field, the pitch, the diamond.  Whatever it may be.  And you are lost in your thoughts.  In fact, so lost in your thoughts, you don’t even realize that you left your kid at home on the way to the game (true story!).

We have all been there (well, maybe not the left your kid at home part) but so lost in our thoughts while driving our kids around to their various activities, that we don’t even realize how we got from work to home or from home to the game.  “Did I go through a red light back there?”.  We have had such a busy day at work, or managing the family and life, that we turn to automatic pilot. Literally driving with no consciousness at all.  Our thoughts were what was real in the drive to the game.  Not your driving.

Only conscious of our thoughts, not even close to being conscious of our behaviours (driving).  A little scary when you stop to think about it.  Now apply that to the game you just drove to.  How conscious are you of your behaviours at the game?  What’s going through your mind that is dictating your behaviour that you may not be aware of…or the opposite perhaps – so focused on your player and what they are doing or not doing, that you are totally unaware of what you are doing or saying.

“Oh my God, (insert name here) – would you pass the damn ball!”

“Why does that kid never pass?? You know this team would be so much better if the coach taught these kids to play as a team!!”

“What the hell  Ref!!, you were looking right at the play, how could you not see that!!??”

Perhaps you are not the one saying it.  But you are the one thinking it.

How many times have you been at a game, minding your own business, when a parent goes off the rails because of a call that was made, or a pass that wasn’t made.  God forbid, your team is losing…as that can make it even worse.  We have all seen it, and wondered to ourselves…. “why? Why do they do that? What do they hope to accomplish?  Do they not realize they are making an ass out of themselves, and really not doing any thing to help the kids play any better?  If they could only see themselves…”.

It’s interesting what we can so easily see in others.  As a Zen Master would say “why is it you can see the stick in someone else’s eye but can’t see the log in your own?”.

I am not saying that everyone acts like a crazy person at the arena, pitch, field or diamond. In fact, most people are there to enjoy the game, have some social time with other families and parents who have a common bond and are building a sense of community and comradery.  The basic elements of being human.  Being part of a tribe and helping that tribe to survive.

For your tribe (could be your team, could be your league, could be your sport) to survive though, we all have a role to play.  Being conscious of our own behaviours and reactions, is the first step in helping to stop the madness of what has become a little too main stream in youth sports.  Is it perhaps a deeper symptom of our crazy world right now? Is it like an abusive relationship where the abuse becomes the norm? The two people in the relationship know it is not healthy for either person, yet the behaviour continues.  The behaviour becomes a pattern, which becomes a habit on both ends, and we all know how hard it is to break a habit, no matter how unhealthy it is!

This blog series Change Your Thoughts, Change The Game (inspired from the book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer)  is intended to help you see the thoughts that create your words and behaviours (and then your world)…and then the behaviours that feed back into your words and thoughts.  Both a vicious cycle and a virtuous cycle.

The goal here is not to stop all crazy behaviour.  Experiences will always be there.  “How you respond to the issue…is the issue.”  – Frankie Perez (MFC Fighter)

If I can touch a few souls, open a few hearts, help people to manage their own energy, reactions and choices, “we are gold Jerry, Gold!. (Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire)

Change your Thoughts, Change the Game.  Enjoy the Game.

Imagine just for a minute, if the losing team was more respected then the winning team. Because without the loser, there is no winner. How would you watch the game differently?

Imagine that the bad call the official just made, prevented your kid from breaking his arm.   If you could rewind the play like a movie, and the official didn’t make the call, the next play would have resulted in a collision that caused harm to your player.  Then that bad call, would not have been such a stupid call after all now would it.

Imagine if you understood that the coach cutting your kid from the AA team, was a life lesson that set them up to handle a work situation 10 years later.  And it was that experience that allowed them to handle this situation with professionalism and wisdom that set him or her on a very successful career.  How would your reactions then change at the time your kid was cut from the team if you had the foresight?

Everything in life happens for a reason.  But at the time, we don’t always know the reason.  How we handle what happens to us it the task at hand.  Managing our emotions, behaviours and reactions.  If you get a flat tire on the way to the game, getting mad isn’t going to change the tire any faster.  In fact, it will drive up cortisol levels (stress hormones), and do physical damage to your body and cause you to think less clearly (and chances are making you more late).  I am not saying you must like the fact that you got a flat tire.  But accept it and move on.  You will move faster!

Next in the series – Watch Your Game as If it was A Movie Mystery…Stay Tuned!