Be Complete Athletics with Nicole Denes

Kids are like sponges. They soak up whatever you say to them, as parents or coaches, and learn how to act and react from the behavior they see modeled for them. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of how you respond.

This week, coach Nicole Denes shares tips on supporting the process, rather than focusing on the outcomes, and helping kids build good habits for the long run.

It can be helpful to think about problems or mistakes before they happen. That way, you can practice how you might respond before you’re put on the spot. Especially for kids and adults who tend towards perfectionism, it can be useful to re-focus on the skills you need to improve, rather than whether or not a result was perfect.

After all, perfection may be unattainable, but improvement is always possible.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Invest in the process
  • Prepare and plan for mistakes to happen
  • Be mindful of your reactions
  • Practice accountability for your actions
  • Support versatility and variety in sports


“Giving permission to fail is huge, especially coming from a parent. Kids will always listen to their parent more than anyone else, even though it may not feel like that sometimes.” -Nicole Denes

“The way the parent speaks to the child becomes the child’s own voice in the way they speak to themselves.” -Nicole Denes

“I wish parents would understand that you’re not going to hurt your child or that college scholarship by allowing them to play another sport. If anything, it’s helpful in their athletic ability and having confidence in that.” -Nicole Denes

“Be aware of how you as a parent react to mistakes in your everyday life. … Your kids are just soaking that in and they’re going to repeat the exact words in a different situation to themselves.” -Nicole Denes

“If we invest in the process — the little things — the outcomes tend to happen.” -Nicole Denes


You can follow Nicole Denes’ work online at and on Facebook and Instagram @becompleteathletics.

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Episode 24