This winter my preschool-age hockey-loving son has been learning to skate. It has been amazing to see the progress he has made in just a few months. And more importantly his confidence has grown so much. All thanks to some little orange plastic contraptions that attach to his skates to ostensibly provide added support and balance.
The thing is, his skate blades are slightly taller than these attachments, so the majority of the time the attachments don’t actually touch the ice. All that matters however is that he thinks they are providing him with support.
Before finding these skate trainers, my son felt very unsteady on the ice. He was even starting to avoid going to the rink, despite his love of hockey. With a little coaxing he gave his new trainers a try and suddenly he was like his old self, excited to be on the ice and learning a ‘big boy’ skill. It won’t be long before he can skate better than me!
Observing his experience made me reflect on how we support ourselves as adults when trying something new. Do we give any thought to this process? What can we put in place to give ourselves a little extra boost of confidence? What ultimately matters more – having safety and security or simply believing we have it?
What can serve as our grown-up version of those little orange plastic attachments?