Dr. Jerry Lynch on How We Should Make Our Children Feel - Soccer Parenting Association

Dr. Jerry Lynch on How We Should Make Our Children Feel

It's always a honor to spend time with Dr. Jerry Lynch, one of the most respected sport psychologists in the United States.  This interview was refreshing, inspiring and very powerful.  While the entire interview is available at the SoccerParentResourceCenter.com (our membership site - $4.99 a month or $47 a year), enjoy the excerpts from our hour long conversation below!

TRANSCRIPT:

Jerry:
One of the touchstones that I talk about a lot is an acronym, I have a couple of acronyms to remind me, to be aware, Skye. One of the acronyms is RIVER, R-I-V-E-R, it's called.

I came up with this acronym a while ago when I did a change in my life. It's the RIVER effect, and RIVER stands for, R is relevant, I is important, V is being valued, and E is be empowered, and R is be respected. Now let's look at, let's look at you as a parent. You have your kids, when your kids or let's say you're coaching or you're parenting. When you personally feel relevant, and you feel important, and valued, and you feel empowered, and you feel respected, how does that, what does that do for you?

In my experience, my experience when I'm coaching and teaching, is that when I help you to feel that way, oh wow. It's like, you'll go the distance, you'll do anything, and so it creates that family. It creates that sense of bond, that community. So your team is your community, your family is your community. But that one acronym, RIVER, when I create the RIVER effect, what I try to do is I try to marinate, everyday, people I come in contact with, with the RIVER effect. I say things, I do things to make you feel relevant. I say things and do things to make you feel important, to make you feel valued, to make you feel empowered and respected. So that's an example.

Skye:
I love it.

Jerry:
I'm wondering if I can introduce another acronym that's, that will really coattail on what we've just been saying?

Skye:

Absolutely.

Jerry:
Okay, so we have the RIVER effect, right?

Skye:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jerry:
The question might be, well, what can I do more to marinate and debate these wonderful great young spirits in this river? I have an acronym and it's called LUV, and it's spelled L-U-V, LUV, right? So it's easier to remember, if you want to give love to your kids, follow this acronym. So here we go. So L, this is the most important by the way, the most important quality of a great coach. It's also, to me, one of the greatest qualities of a great parent. The L stands for listening, imagine how relevant and important in value you'll feel, Skye, when I listened to you.

Skye:
Absolutely.

Jerry:
Okay. So imagine what this does for your kids. This is why coaches need to know this and parents. So the first thing we listen, so this LUV goes back and forth, I'm listening, then I'm understanding with my questions, then I'm validating and then I'm back to understanding again by asking questions, and then I'm listening for the answers when he gives me the answer. So this is a back and forth movement. It's a dance between L, U and V.

Skye:

I love it. ​

Jerry:
Yeah. To me that's love, and that's showing respect, that's giving him, making him feel important. It makes them feel valued. Because it's so easy to deep value when we're aware. Then we go back to awareness again, we can understand better how to implement the RIVER effect, but we can also use this other acronym, which is L-U-V, and when, just I'll tell you right now, it's not complicated, as you said before, it's simple, but it's not easy.

It starts with awareness, use the RIVER effect. Go to the L-U-V, and you know what? You're going to have the happiest, most amazing kids in the world. Not that you don't already, you probably, all your kids are probably the most amazing kids in the world, mine are.

But the thing is, your life is what's important, your life will be so much easier, and you'll feel much better about the way that your kids are going forward. This will reduce the need to have all these crazy and unrealistic expectations.


About the Author Skye Eddy Bruce

Founder, SoccerParenting.com Skye is a former All-American goalkeeper, professional player and collegiate coach. She holds her USSF “B” License and USSF National Goalkeeper License and is an active youth coach, soccer parent and coach educator.

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