Thanks for you patience the last few weeks. We had a death in the family and after the unexpected travel it took me a while to get organized.
Team Work is important and useful, but sometimes the only person your child will have to rely on is herself. Sometimes the best person to do the job is your child; teaching her how to get it done on her own will help her on the field, in school, and later in life. We’ve all heard the saying, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. I usually think of that saying to mean that someone else messed up, but if we choose to look at it in a positive light, it really has more to do with your personal ability to do something well.
There are moments in life where your child will have to make a decision, maybe a split second one, about how to handle a situation. She may be able to look for help from a teammate, schoolmate, or co-worker, but sometimes no one is around who can or will help. In those moments she needs to believe that she can get the job done herself and act without hesitation. In some cases, even a moment’s hesitation or a look for help at the wrong time can be the difference between success and failure.
Failure to rely on herself is most likely the result of lack of confidence, or possibly a little laziness. Everyone suffers from lack of confidence now and again, but making it a habit can be costly.
I had a costly lapse of confidence during a road race in 2004. The bike race was part of a stage race. A stage race is a several day race. Each day there is a new race and the total time of that day’s race is added to the previous day’s total time. The winner is the cyclist who, when the last race has been finished, has completed all of the racing in the least amount of time. So, you can win a stage of the stage race and not win the overall race. I was having a fantastic stage race and was sitting fairly high in the overall. On a climb several of the other highly ranked girls attacked the group and opened up a gap between themselves and the rest of us. I was chasing them down, gaining slowly and dragging everyone else in my group along behind me. I was tired and had a little lap in confidence. I realized other riders were behind me and I thought I’d turn to them for help. I pulled off to the side and the girl behind me took her turn at front, but she was going slower and we lost momentum. By the time I realized we were slowing down it was too late. I surged around her and continued my chase, but by that time the women had too big of a gap and we never caught them. At the end of the stage I moved down in the overall standings and wasn’t able to gain the time back during the rest of the stage race.
I still regret my moment of hesitation, but while it was a hard lesson, it was also a good lesson. One that I hope will come in handy the next time I need to rely on myself. Talk with your child about her abilities and help her have confidence in them. Let her know that there will be times when she is best off doing something by herself and when that time comes, she’ll be ready.
Remember to check out Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race and Shawn Sheep The Soccer Star, if you are looking for a unique gift for a child in your life. Visit www.erinmirabella.com to order a personalized, autographed copy.