Parenting Advice from Duncan Goodhew

Last weekend we travelled to Birmingham. Perhaps a little ill advised so close to Christmas but we were invited to attend the Flip Flop Flip for which I wrote a sponsored post recently. I’d got the wrong end of the stick about something and thought that Keri-Anne Payne and Rebecca Addlington were going to be at the event along with Duncan Goodhew – a lesson in skim reading!

Held at one of the Pools 4 Schools temporary pools which was situated in a school in Birmingham (which turned out to be the children’s great grandfather’s school – small world) British Gas released 1,000 flip flops into the water in a flip flop water lottery.

So the ladies weren’t there but as you can see, Duncan Goodhew was. I’ll admit to being a little awe-struck listening to him field questions from young swimmers. He has had some truly remarkable experiences and is an inspiring speaker.

After he and the other swimmers had signed autographs I had a couple of minutes to talk to him. With Rachel’s questions about motivation fresh in my mind that’s what I led with.

If you are looking to stay motivated, here is Duncan’s advice (paraphrased by me). Think about how you talk to yourself, listen to that internal voice and the things you are saying. Before you get in the water, or start the work out, take a moment to say how happy you are to be there and that you’re going to enjoy this session. Look at the way the light moves over the water, imagine you’re on holiday. Talk to yourself during, notice how well you’re moving through the water. When you’re finished say how much you enjoyed it because you’ll be filled with endorphins and you will feel great so take the time to feel it. It’s important to go to events like sponsored swims or races, to get that sweaty palm feeling of excitement, to have something to look forward to.

It’s interesting to hear Duncan speak about self-talk being an important part of motivation and enjoyment. I talk to a lot of parents both through my work as a childminder and via emails to this site asking for advice. One of the biggest themes I have noticed is the way parents speak about themselves and how harshly they judge what they are doing. When I posed this to Duncan this is what he had to say: When you’re worrying about history homework try imagining you are 80 years old and you’re sat with your child. What would you have wanted to give to them? A good sense of humour, resilience, a love of live, these are the things that are important. You want to have given your child the skills to live in the world and not just that but to be able to work with the world because that’s what’s important.

Wise words and worth holding on to in the tedious moments which pepper our lives. It is so easy to be lost in the moments of the day to day that we lose sight of our goals and aspirations. Next time I find myself feeling frustrated and fractious I’ll be taking a moment to remind myself of this conversation.

If you’d like to see some decent pictures of the event head over to see the British Gas Flip Flop Flip album.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Super Kat (@thatkat) (@thatkat) (@thatkat) December 18, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Latest at Housewife: Parenting Advice from Duncan Goodhew –

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