Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mental Toughness - Not Just for Athletes!

My mom got me hooked on Dancing with the Stars when she came down to help me after Jadon was born.  After weeks of faithful watching, the episode before the final results show, there was a piece on each of the final 3 dancers on what gave them the "right stuff" to win Dancing with the Stars.  The piece on Hines Ward really impacted me as a coach and a parent.  One of his coaches said that it was Hines' mother who taught him the attributes that made him such an outstanding athlete at Georgia and with the Steelers.  Now he has a Mirror Ball Trophy!


This made me stop and think back to this past coaching season.
  • Before I saw that episode, I was thinking that parenting is reflected in how an athlete trains and performs.  (I am absolutely positive about that now.)
  • I thought there is very little I could do as a coach in 4 - 6 hours a week to combat any "bad parenting" that affects an athlete's mental side of the game that inevitably affects the physical side.
  • Mental toughness is needed in all areas of life - not just in sports.
  • Where and how did I learn mental toughness?
First of all, I define mental toughness as being able to deal with pressure situations, doing what it takes to accomplish your goals, and working hard and pushing yourself beyond what is comfortable.  Check out this article from Penn State on mental toughness. 

My most recent life example of mental toughness was having a homebirth.  I had to believe in myself that I could deliver my son with out any pain meds.  Then in the midst of the most difficult part of labor when I felt I had nothing left, I refocused, and used every ounce of mental strength I had to finish labor and the delivery.  My reward - my beautiful son Jadon, huge sense of accomplishment, and an increase in my mental toughness. 

My two favorite coaching moments are incredible examples of mental toughness.  Coincidentally they are the exact same, just different teams.

In my 2nd year as varsity head coach at Eau Gallie High School, my team won the District title for the first time in 10+ years.  We were playing against a team we struggled playing against during the season.  In a best of 5 match, we were down 0 - 2.  My team came back and won the next 2 games.  Then in the 5th and deciding game, my team was down 6 points in a game to 15.  My girls dug their heals in and came back to win the game, match, and District Title!  Side note - this team was good, but not as talented as other teams I coached, yet they went further than any other team I had!

This past fall I coached for Cornerstone Preparatory Academy.  We had an excellent season winning the American Heritage Tournament and making it to the finals in the ACCE (link to team photo) Conference.  The exact same thing happened!  Down 0-2 and came back to win the 5th game, match, and State Title!

Thinking about these two memories still brings tears to my eyes because the girls all worked so hard individually and as a team to TAKE the win.  I honestly don't take any credit for their success - yes I taught them the skills they needed, but with out their mental toughness and the mental toughness of the team, they wouldn't be holding the trophies at the end of the match. 

In preparation for this upcoming club season, I am committing to develop mental toughness in my players that they can use off and on the court!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fit Friday # 1 (A Day Late)

On Monday I went to Swift Cantrell Park to walk 2 miles.  Before I left I made sure Jadon had a clean diaper and was fed, hoping that would keep him happy while on the drive there, during the walk, and home again.  What I didn't realize is how much time it took to do all of this.

During the day, Jadon usually wants to be fed every 2 hours or so.  I was hoping to get to the park, walk and home again before he wanted to be fed again.  After I fed him, it took me almost 20 minutes to get in my walking clothes, get my water bottle, and make sure I had everything I needed in the diaper bag, then it takes about 15 minutes to get to the park and about 35 minutes to walk 2 miles. 

Jadon slept on the way to the park and for the first mile.  At that point he had his fill of the infant seat in the stroller.  Luckily I learned to bring my Bjorn with me on outings for when he wants to get out of the seat.  He really doesn't take a pacifier well, so that doesn't help calm him down - he shoots it out of his mouth like a missile!  Mile 2 was completed with Jadon in the Bjorn while I pushed an empty stroller!  It was hard to tell what people thought when they saw me, sunglasses hid their eyes, but I did get a few smiles - not sure if they were laughing smiles or friendly smiles, but I smiled back. 

After I was done walking, I decided I didn't want to leave just yet and headed to the pavilions.  I changed Jadon and feed him hoping it would buy me more time but it didn't.  Nursing on a bench with no back isn't all that comfortable, so it didn't go that well.  Time to go home - after  5 minutes in the car, the crying began with increasing intensity.  When that happens, I just try to get home as fast as I can. 

Jadon Relaxing on the Table

Thursday I wanted to walk again, but decided I am not going to the park again for awhile, so I just walked around where I live.  I have this awesome app on my iPhone called Log Your Run- its is free.  It uses GPS to determine how far and how fast you are going, plays music from my iPod, saves the data, and posts to social sites.  Now what am I going to do with my $150 Garmin Watch?

Asleep in the Jogging Stroller

When I had finished walking my 2 miles, I was wondering why it was so hard.  Before I got pregnant I was running up to 9 miles!  Then I did some math - I am pushing a stroller up hills that has a 10+ pound baby, in a 10 pound infant seat, in a stroller (not sure how much that weighs), and I have an extra 10 pounds of baby weight from being pregnant.  That equals 30+ pounds of extra weight!  Now I don"t feel so bad!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday

1) Jadon has slept for 7 hours straight at night!  (Now I am concerned - is he too young to be doing this? Ha - you pray for more sleep than when you get it, you question it.  Funny.)

2) Sleeping in his crib for naps!  I started this yesterday - for the first 6 weeks all I did was hold him, even during naps.  I didn't mind it then since I was still recooperating, but now I have to get off the couch and do things!  Can't sit still any longer.

3) Friend Crystal asking to come over yesterday!

4) Josh having jobs lined up for at least a month!

5) True friends that are willing to help you.

6) Homebirth Meetings - one this weekend! Home Births on the Rise!

7) Waking up to a fresh pot of coffee!

8) Josh willing to help with Jadon when he comes home from work. 

9) Surprise boquet of flowers from Josh and telling me that I am doing a great job as a mother. 

10) That I have many things to be thankful for!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Take 2!
I hit the send button too soon!

Anyway, I took Jadon to Swift Cantrell Park today so I could walk. This week I started the 5K Novice plan by Hal Higdon. Today was a walk or run day with no specifics. I decided to walk 2 miles.

Well, Jadon was great for the first mile and then had enough of being in the stroller. I put him in my Bjorn to finish my last mile. I looked pretty interesting wearing Jadon and pushing an empty stroller! He loved being in the Bjorn and fell fast asleep.

It is bed time now and my legs are sore! That happens when you add a 10 pound plus weight to your body and push a stroller! Tomorrow I am supposed to run a mile and a half - it just might be another walking day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

This is my first time posting on my blog via text message. Fun stuff! Very helpful when your 6 week old wants to be held all the time!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Starting Over - A New Blog

I started my first blog 5 months before I had my son Jadon - that is now 6 months ago.  I hardly posted on it at all. So being true to myself, instead of just posting more, I wanted a brand new blog.  Whenever I make a new resolve to do something, I have to start over from the beginning.  Like if I start a journal and fail to write in it consistently, I won't just pick up where I left off, I have to get a whole new journal for a fresh start! 

Title of my blog says it all - Mothering, Coaching, Running - my life in a nutshell.

My Plans:
  1. Research vaccinations and decide what Josh and I feel is best for Jadon. (The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears)
  2. Run the Iron Horse 15K on September 18th. 5KTraining , 15K Training
  3. Join an Adult Volleyball Team in the Fall.
  4. Read the Bible in a year - currently using You Version, Life Journal Reading Plan on my iPhone.  I am on day 5.
  5. Read Clive Cussler's the NUMA Files series.
  6. Project 365 - take a picture everyday on my iPhone.
  7. Follow my favorite blogs.
  8. Blog -  weekly topics. 
  • Monday ~ Mommy Monday
  • Tuesday ~ Thoughtful Coaching
  • Wednesday ~ Whimsy Wednesday (Anything Goes!)
  • Thursday ~ Thankful Thursday (not sure who started this, but it is an awesome idea)
  • Friday ~ Fit Friday (Running Updates)
This seems like a lot for a mother of a 6 week old, but when you nurse every 2 - 3 hours during the day, you have a lot of down time for reading and blogging.  I need to keep myself occupied so I don't go crazy!  For some reason the idea of sleep when your baby sleeps doesn't apply to me - I guess a 4  hour nap and a 3 hour nap during the night is all I need!