After talking to hundreds of parents this last year, I have observed some really subtle, but recurring things that have been happening with the parent/player relationship. 

Today I am going to share those observations and some shifts you can make as a parent to help your daughter build confidence without straining your relationship.

Growing up, my dad was REALLY invested in my athletic career. Although sports brought us closer together, it also created a lot of tension in our relationship. When I was playing well, things were great between us. BUT when I wasn’t performing well, things were not good and it was very frustrating for both of us. 

At that time, I didn’t know how to communicate how I was feeling. It wasn’t until last year during this Facebook live that we sat down and talked about it.

I don’t want sports to negatively affect your relationship with your daughter. I want you to be able to have a good relationship without all the pressure and strain.

Here are 4 observations to help you better support your daughter in her confidence journey:

#1: Walk the talk

Your daughter won’t always listen to you, BUT SHE DOES WATCH YOU! We all know that actions speak louder than words. Instead of talking to your daughter about what you want to see, show her!

Do the things you want your daughter to do: visualize, do the confidence exercises, do affirmations, listen to my podcasts. 

#2: Don’t take it so seriously

A lot of parents I talk to tell me that they are not “the crazy soccer parent.” They want me to know that they aren’t putting pressure on their daughter. When you take everything so seriously, your daughter perceives that as pressure. 

I am not saying pressure is a bad thing. I think it is a great thing when applied correctly. I know we all think that sports are the most important thing, but remember… IT IS JUST A SPORT! 

#3: Communicate

When I was growing up, I never communicated to my dad how I was feeling about our relationship when it came to sports. He never would have known that it was hurting me because I never expressed to him how it was making me feel.

I challenge you to open up a conversation with your daughter. Ask her, “What can I do to better support you in becoming more confident, have more fun, and achieve your goals?” Open up the door to have the conversation! 

#4: Release control of your daughter’s failures/successes

The last thing you want is to see your daughter hurt, to see her fail, to see her sad. The more you try to prevent her from failing, the harder it is going to be for her when she does fail. 

When you try to control her successes and failures, it doesn’t help her learn. 

Another important thing is to release control of her successes. If she wants to get more confident, it has to come from her! We can do all we can, give all the resources and tools, but it all comes down to HER wanting it and taking control. 

The more she fails when she is younger, the more resilient she will be when she’s older.

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Shay Haddow
Shay Haddow

Shay Haddow is an expert coach and speaker on confidence and mindset for female athletes. As the host of the Alpha Girl Confidence Podcast, and Author of She the Confident, Shay is widely regarded for her insights on confidence and mindset by parents and coaches around the country. Her mission is to empower girl athletes to build unshakable confidence so they can live and play to their fullest potential. Learn more about her community, The Alpha Empowerment Circle here: