Parents play a crucial role in a child’s development. Learn how you can support your child’s growth towards a mental foundation that allows them to reach their fullest potential.
As a parent of a junior athlete, have you ever asked yourself the following questions:
- Why does my child perform better in practice than during competition?
- How can I help my child deal with their emotions under pressure?
- Why does my child get so negative when things don’t go their way?
- Why does my child’s mind hold them back from achieving their fullest potential?
If so, rest assured you are not alone! After years of development, we believe we have a solution for you. In this article, we will go over the benefits of 2Mynds’ Flow 255® approach, why it could be a great solution for you and your child, and how you can make sure you get the most out of it.
Check out our free webinar for parents. The webinar covers a lot of extra background and details.
Build the right foundation
For a child to run fast sprints, they first need to establish a solid foundation of explosive strength, mobility, and endurance. Then, technique and strategy come into play, accompanied by a lot of repetitions. The same approach is true for the human mind, and this is where 2Mynds’ Flow 255® system shines: we give your child the mental foundation, the techniques and strategies, and the reps to reach their fullest potential.
Our system is built on a methodology that emphasizes the fundamental elements of mental fitness: two states of mind, five mental skills, and five perspectives.
One of these mind states is the one under which your child executes freely: a calm operative state that is often referred to as being in the zone or in flow. The other state is more contemplative: evaluating the past and planning the future. Both are essential for optimal performance, but only if they are used right, at the right moment, and under the right conditions. That requires good skills and perspectives and the primary purpose of our Flow 255® platform is to provide an ecosystem in which your child develops those skills and perspectives.
Part of building a solid foundation is repetition and accountability. Therefore, we built our platform to be social and gamified to keep your child accountable and on track. Beginning as Rookies, your child can progress through ranks and can even use their points to unlock special content or compete on leaderboards. By using the system weekly, you and your child will see their mental foundation grow.
Train with impact
Let’s review the meaning of “training”, and in this case, mental training. Today, there are many different interpretations of what mental training means. For some, mental training is journaling, watching motivational videos, or meeting with a sports psychologist. However, training implies practice, i.e. an activity during which something is developed or improved over time. More formally, training means that a system is given a stimulus to adapt toward better function. If the system is a human body, you give it a series of exercises that overload its capacity, after which the fatigue and discomfort trigger the body to adjust and prepare itself better for the next bout of exercises.
At 2Mynds, we pride ourselves on our pressure-based approach to mental fitness: we train under physical and mental overload. Our reasoning is simple: mental skills are needed most when your child is under pressure, so let’s make sure they are trained under pressure. This means your child is not doing your visualizations and imagery (just one of many skills we train) to peaceful waterfall sounds. Instead, we progress visualizations from calm and controlled conditions to conditions in a heart rate is 140 or muscles are sore. We do this through fun and challenging mind-body workouts.
While the purpose of the mind-body workouts is to develop a predefined set of mental skills or perspectives for your child, each mind-body workout also train physical aspects. The reason for integrating the physical components is to generate progressing stress levels under which mental skills can be trained, but a nice bonus of our approach is that the workouts are dynamic and playful. Plus they have positive physical side-effects (endurance, strength, mobility, balance, rhythm, etc).
Go beyond training
While developing mental skills is important, it is equally important to assess properly where there are strengths and weaknesses and perhaps even more important to make sure the developed skills translating to sports and life! Our Flow 255® Platform therefore uses a simple three-step development cycle: (1) assess, (2) acquire, (3) apply.
In simple terms, your child will first assess their mental fitness level (in three domains from which a mental fitness index is calculated), then acquire mental skills via workouts, and finally we help your child apply their new skills to real-life situations and performative moments. Our assessments not only provide your child with a means to see their progress over time, as a parent you can also receive periodic automated reports. These can then be used to optimize the training to acquire skills. You and your child can pick playlists (or we can customize them for you) that cover all development aspects. The last step is to apply to life and sports. For that purpose, we provide resources to learn how to integrate and apply skills into sports routines or daily routines. We do this via audio clips with routine guidance (morning, evening, or around competition), and video series that show your child how to build their performance routines. This way, using our Flow 255® methodology will help your child withstand the pressures of competition as well as the pressures that come from daily life.
Create a learning environment
As a parent, there are many motivations for getting a child involved in sports. It may be to achieve a healthy, active lifestyle. However, teaching your child to overcome challenges and achieve goals appears to be a common purpose as well. Interestingly, science shows that learning to overcome challenges early in life creates neural patterns that makes individuals more likely to deal positively with challenges as they get older. This means that if your child falls now and then and learns to get up by himself or herself that a positive foundation for later is built. This means that the freedom to fall is essential.
While for many children, sports start out as a “fun hobby”, it often turns a bit less lighthearted and more serious as they are exposed to competitive circumstances. Your child may perceive certain situations as stressful and may have a hard time learning to deal with pressure. While 2Mynds’ Flow 255® ecosystem provides you and your child with the means to gain the mental fitness to thrive in life and sports, it is also important that you, as a parent, cultivate an environment for progress. That means more than just a setting that optimizes wins. In fact, settings that involve losses now and then will help build the mental fitness that may be crucial for peak performance in the long run.
Peak performance gets a chance when falling is no longer seen as failing.
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If you want your child to reach their full potential in their sport, check out our solutions for mental training for athletes. These solutions include our training platform, learning courses, or our pro package that combines everything and even includes a free kick-off consult!