How the powerful tools of the ECP helped Amelia level up her playing and master her mental game.
“I told her that even if she quit volleyball tomorrow, these tools would help her in every aspect of her life. As an adult, you will always be on some sort of team. And these will be really powerful tools to have."
Colleen, mom to high school athlete Amelia
THE MISSING PIECE OF THE PUZZLE
Amelia had big goals for herself in volleyball and wanted to take her skills to the next level. However, even though she put time and effort into her training and practice, her game-day performance wasn't improving.
She'd consistently excel in practice, get a starting spot, and then make mistakes that would put her on the bench, causing her confidence to crumble on the sidelines. But Amelia would regroup, go back to practice and do well again. Then the pattern would repeat.
"She just wanted to achieve her goals," mom Colleen explains, "Her coach said Amelia's just so competitive that she makes mistakes in a game she wouldn't usually."
It wasn't until after they found out Amelia wasn't going to make the next team because of her performances the season before that one of the directors said she needed to work on her mental game. Except, he didn't have the tools to help her.
"I was really frustrated by this. So I talked to one of my coaches, and they said that the one thing I was missing was the mental piece."
The skills and strategies to build confidence
It hurt Colleen to see Amelia struggle with this side of her sport and not know what to say or how to fix it. But she knew her daughter didn't need more lessons on serving; she needed support for the mental part of her game.
So Colleen scoured google searching for something that would help and found the Elite Competitor Program. "I listened to an ECP webinar and felt like they were talking about my daughter." Colleen says, "I knew that was what we needed."
When Collen presented it to Amelia, she was all for it. She didn't resist because she wanted to meet the goals she set up for herself.
"I told her that even if she quit volleyball tomorrow, these tools would help her in every aspect of her life. As an adult, you will always be on some sort of team. And these will be really powerful tools to have."
The ECP is unique in the sense that it builds the mental skills and strengths of the daughter as well as their mom.
Amelia worked through the modules from an athlete's point of view, learning strategies to help her perform under pressure, recover quickly from mistakes and let go of anxiousness, perfectionism and comparison.
Colleen participated in parent-focused coaching sessions, the Sports Moms Inner Circle, learning different frameworks for positively interacting with her daughter before, during and after games and so much more.
"Hearing about other moms' journeys with their daughters has been insightful, even with a different sport. It's still the same mental process going on."
Going through the ECP gave Colleen and Amelia common ground to tackle Amelia's challenges, and celebrate her triumphs, together.
"The ECP gave us a language in which Amelia and I can converse about things. And it's a language that doesn't make me sound like 'that' parent or the one constantly nagging, saying the wrong things, or putting undue pressure on her. It's language to help instil that confidence in her. That has been priceless to me."
Winning the mental game
Confidence, positivity and the ability to bounce back after a mistake was the most significant differences Amelia noticed in her playing after starting to work through the ECP. "I was coming back from mistakes a lot quicker, instead of thinking about it and letting it affect the next three plays," Amelia says.
"I was also able to help build my team up because I had that confidence. It built everyone around me up instead of bringing them down with my negativity."
After two seasons, Amelia appreciates the long-term results of applying what she learned in ECP.
She realizes it's less about being spectacular in a single match; instead, it's about continuously improving each performance. Which ultimately is what is taking her playing to the next level.
"If you're frustrated with where you're at and want to elevate your game, you should definitely join ECP."
Transferable Skills of the ECP
The other aspect of ECP that resonates with both mom and daughter is learning to focus on process over outcome. For example, they don't discuss the win when Amelia plays a tough team. Instead, they talk about how good it would feel to have great defensive plays. Those conversations have created a significant shift in the pre-game mindset. Amelia says, "It's definitely strengthened our relationship."
ECP has also revolutionised Colleen's mental game; now, she and her daughter are connecting better through a common language and understanding. Colleen can see what's going on when Amelia makes a mistake and knows what to say to support her, "I feel like I have something to say that she'll listen to." Colleen explains, "I can't say how amazing this program has been."
"For all those other moms out there, I'm just at peace with however things happen, and it's not always feeling like, "Gosh, I have to help her. What can I do?" Amelia knows what to do. I can give her reminders, but she's got this, and that's just a really awesome feeling."