June 2, 2022

3 Ways to Decrease Anxiety with Shay Haddow, Confidence Coach, Author, and Podcast Host

3 Ways to Decrease Anxiety with Shay Haddow, Confidence Coach, Author, and Podcast Host

In Episode 84, Shay Haddow, Confidence Coach, Author of She the Confident: The Mindset Advantage for Female Athletes, and Host of the Alpha Girl Confidence Podcast, talks with Phil about developing confidence in our female athletes, how everyone is...

In Episode 84, Shay Haddow, Confidence Coach, Author of She the Confident: The Mindset Advantage for Female Athletes, and Host of the Alpha Girl Confidence Podcast, talks with Phil about developing confidence in our female athletes, how everyone is leading someone and how personalities shape leadership, breaking up cliques in our teams, and 3 tools we can use to mitigate against mental health issues in our teams. Specifically, Shay discusses:


  • Her story and how she developed her passion for soccer, leadership, confidence, and mental performance, particularly in the girls’ game (1:21)
  • Her personal why and how she is living it out in her daily life (4:58)
  • Why she started her podcast and wrote She the Confident, and how she hopes they will impact female athletes around the world (7:15)
  • Whether confidence is more nature or nurture, what to do when kids are living in delusion, and how people can develop their confidence if they believe they were not “born confident.” (9:25)
  • How she defines leadership and the concept that everybody is leading someone (18:34)
  • How different personality styles lead differently (22:10)
  • How to identify and break up unhealthy cliques in your teams (26:08)
  • What she believes are the reasons for the statistic that 94% of women holding C-Suite positions are former athletes, and 52% of them played at the collegiate level (29:19)
  • Her new book idea (32:55)
  • Three tools we can use to address and mitigate against the mental health issues arising from social media and comparison in our youth (35:37)
  • How she has used lessons learned from soccer in her business and personal life (42:19)
  • The “freakin’ awesome” impact her book and podcast have had over the past couple years (44:59)
  • Shay’s book recommendations (47:36)

Resources and Links from this Episode


Phil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks again for being a part of the conversation here. I'm Phil Darke. You're host and Paul Jobson, and I love getting to do this. As I've said, as I say almost every episode, I'll actually, I said it up probably every episode. I mean it, every episode and today is no exception today.

I have with me a confidence and you know, I always get these, these coaches. We're all, we're all coaches. The, the exact title sometimes, you know, wrong, but I do want to emphasize competence, coach that's, that's something that's that's different. So we're going to get into that in a little bit today about confidence, mental performance coach.

Also an author, podcast host, Shay Haddow here with me Shay, how you doing?

[00:00:40] Shay: Good, Phil, happy to be here. So excited to get into it..

[00:00:44] Phil: Yeah. I didn't even know I was going to say that about the confidence coach thing, but, you know, so that was a, you never know what's going to come out here. So there it is. Emphasis emphasis always, always gets people.

Right. So, all right. So with that, why don't you just share a little bit with our audience, you know, who you are, some people may already [00:01:00] know you or know of you but just briefly share your story, how you develop your passion for soccer, leadership, confidence, and mental performance, and helping girls in particular through their mental health.


[00:01:11] Shay: So I grew up soccer was my life also basketball, those two combine. But I've never known a life without it. Played at a young age and you know, was really naturally gifted, had a lot of God-given talent as my parents would tell me. And then when I was 12, I tore my ACL, which at 12 years old is a really hard thing to go through.

And after that injury, I really started struggling with my confidence. I've kind of had anxiety. For majority of my life too, and that exacerbated it as well. But I went from being this really fast, confident, athletic player to being like full of self doubt and just so nervous before games full of anxiety, just hesitating holding back.

And just honestly, I almost, I almost quit just because I wasn't confident. So I age 15, I [00:02:00] was. This close, like so incredible close to quitting, just because I can't do this anymore. I can't deal with the pressure. I'm not as good as my teammates, like I don't belong here. And luckily I decided to give it one more go.

And I ended up getting recruited to play at VCU in Virginia. I played there for only a semester and then transferred back to my home state, Utah state, finish my career. There had a pretty good career, I would say, but still really struggle with the confidence up and down. You know, junior year was a, I would say kind of my rock bottom year, I had an, a.

Another knee surgery. And I just, wasn't a very good teammate. And I just wasn't blaming everyone for my lack of playing time. And then in between my junior and senior year, I was like, all right, Shay like you got, you got one more year, like you're done after this. So what are you going to make of it? So I started.

Really think okay, is this a physical issue or is this a mental and emotional issues? So I started diving into, you know, sports psychology a little bit. I took some classes. We had a [00:03:00] sports psychologist come and talk to us and work with us a little bit. And it wasn't until I started applying those concepts that I really turned my year around and got voted team captain and had the best season I've ever had my last year.

And I fully attributed just to me, being more confident in learning how to, you know, improve my mindset and everything. So that's kinda why I do what I do now. Cause I know that so many girls, whether they're, 10 years old or whether they're college kids, they struggle with confidence. They struggle with anxiety and the, and the mental and emotional health.

And there wasn't. Thing really that I knew of that was addressing that. And so that's why I started doing this is to really help those girls, not just to be more confident players, but more importantly, just to be, you know, confident.

[00:03:48] Phil: Yeah. You know, and that's why we do this show, right? It's, it's this, the connection between the sports and what we learn in sports and what we learn in, in life and how we can apply the sports to the life.

And [00:04:00] so I love, I love hearing that actually my wife it's, it's crazy how many things. We all know this just because it's out there. If you've spent any time in sports, the amount of knee surgeries my wife has had for, she played in college as well. And actually she's out in, in DC right now. She was just in Richmond there with VCU.

And then that's St. John's church right down the street from VCU, but I didn't ever knew where it was until I went out there. And so, oh, there's a sign for VCU. There it is. But but yeah, the, the, in, she talked to just about the depression that she went through and, you know, when, when soccer's your identity, which isn't healthy how can we help these girls earlier on to realize.

What is your true identity? So I, with that, I want to just, I'm assuming I know, but I don't want to make assumptions, you know, what happens when you do? But what is your personal, why what's your life purpose and how are you living that out? Yeah,

[00:04:48] Shay: this is such a good question. And I would say a month ago I would have a different answer.

My, I would say in the past, my life purpose was to help teenage girls. Right. But now my life purpose is [00:05:00] to connect more deeply with myself and get to know myself on the deepest level possible. And in doing that, that's when I can really, really show up for the girls that I serve. And so, instead of coming from places.

I'm just going to serve and I'm not going to focus on me. It's like, I'm going to focus on me first. I'm going to really prioritize my mental and emotional health first. And when I do that's when I can show up big. So that's my life purpose is just to connect with myself and get to know myself on the deepest.

[00:05:30] Phil: Yep. Absolutely. And you know, it's funny you say that because the Coaching the Bigger Game program, which we just released starts with that it starts with the first five modules are just self-leadership. Cause if you're not healthy yourself, you can't give anything to anyone. And you know, we try to have healthy team cultures and oftentimes we as coaches, we, as leaders are unhealthy and well, it kind of, it usually doesn't end well when that's the case.

So I, I, yeah, I love that. Love that ability to do that. Not just. [00:06:00] Focus obviously, but to be able to outflow and have that pouring out, because if we're healthy people, we're going to be influencing other people it's just is to serve, created to help others were created to live in community. And I think we lose a lot of that, especially here in the United States where it's very individualistic culture and absolute and task-focused, and, and we forget that we're.

For community and we're creating a work with others to do things. And so the other thing I love about soccer is it helps us remember that we can't do any of this on her own. So love that, love that. All right. So part of what you've done is wrote a book, right? So which anybody who's written a book knows it's, it's a, it's a tough thing to do.

It's a labor of love in a world full of millions and millions of books. It's something that we do because we really want to share something with the world. So. Why did you write it? She, the confidence that she, again, man, you've got all these like know confidence coach who, the competency, since the theme here, right?

The mindset advantage for female athletes. But what, what, what what was your [00:07:00] purpose for writing it? And what do you hope that everybody that picks it up. We'll be able to get out of it.

[00:07:05] Shay: Yeah. So before the book, I, I started the podcast and it was doing pretty well, but I was like, I, I wanted to find another medium to really get the message out there and.

I mean, I, I looked up different books, you know, confidence books and that kind of thing for girls. And there was a few, but there wasn't really any specifically for girls in the sports realm talking about confidence and that kind of thing. And so I thought it would be a great way for, teenage girls to consume the information.

To have this, essentially this little pocket book or workbook where they could come back and refer to any time. And in the book, I am really adamant about like, okay, you learn now let's actually take action on the things that you're learning. So after every chapter there's action steps where, you know, okay, we talk about pre-game routine.

So now you're actually going to go implement that. Or we talk about, you know, I'm having a [00:08:00] strong mindset. Now you're going to go implement that by writing down your wins or whatever. So that's a big part of it is we're we're learning, but then are actually implementing in the book.

[00:08:09] Phil: Yeah. And one of the things obviously, well it's might not be obvious to some, but she, the confident, one of the things you talk about a lot of in that book is confidence, right?

And so with confidence, which we often talk about in sports is kind of that X factor. I, you see those, you know, not every kid comes into sports confident. 11 year old, he just turned 11 the other day. He is very confident. I mean, he came out of the womb confident, right? My other children, my daughter was probably one of the best defenders I've seen at her age throughout the ranks.

And she had no confidence. She didn't think she was that good. And you know, she shut down some of the names that are now in the NWSL and, and that, but she'd never thought she was good. She'd watched the girls play another games. She said they weren't that good when they played against me. They were, but you know, you just don't get it.

Right. So would you say that, I mean, like we know just intuitively that [00:09:00] some probably are more confident, but is it more nature or nurture in your opinion and for those who, if, if you think nature how can we, and I know that are some who, whether they are or not, they, they think they were not born confident.

How can they develop their confidence.

[00:09:15] Shay: Yeah. So if I had to say as a more nature nurture, I think it's a little bit of both, but I think it's more nurture. I think a lot of times we feel that confidence is a personality trait and yes, I do agree that part of it is personality and some people may have to work harder at it.

But I believe that confidence is more so of a skill than a personality trait. And so let's say that, yes, I do believe there's even men I've had I did it, I had a speaking engagement just recently in Napa and I had a mom come up to me and ask me about her four year old. That's struggling with confidence.

And so I think, yes, it can be part of the personality and like, it can be harder, but I don't think that someone that isn't born conflict. Can't become confident. So I think it just, [00:10:00] it just is sometimes harder for people to become more confident in some people it's more of a natural thing. So I guess a little bit of

[00:10:08] Phil: both.

Yeah. Well, I depend on that and all I do want you to get into, okay. How can we develop the confidence? Cause you do talk a lot about that, but before that I wanted to get your thoughts on those. Foreign confident. Right. And I will put that in quotes because sometimes it's born deluded. Right. So it's, there's a lot of delusion on our sports too, where these kids think they're a lot better than they are.

And you kind of need to, you know, what, what's your thoughts on that? As far as, you know, we always joke with my 11 year old, same millennial. Sometimes we knock them down a little bit, right? Like, Hey, you know, you're not quite as good as you think. Yeah, you're not, you're not at that level yet. You're not going no.

Premier league Scouts are coming out, knocking at your door yet, buddy. But what are your thoughts on that? As far as that goes and how can we do that in a healthy way? If that's in fact something that we need to

[00:10:56] Shay: do? I think that that can work [00:11:00] decent for boys, but for girls, I don't really think. That diluting.

It is very helpful because girls really take in everything that people say, and sometimes they totally skew it. But I think for boys and coaches too, like, they'll try to motivate boys by saying. Come on like more of the negative, like, what are you doing? Let's go like, this is not good. The other team's kicking your butt, whatever.

And that's like, oh, boys are like, oh, let's like motivate them. Right. I don't know why I growled, but Hey, it works. And then for girls, if they were to hear that same thing, it would just like really bring them down. And so I think for boys that kind of work to kind of bring them back down to planet earth a little bit.

But for most girls and where you can't say all girls got, everyone is different, right? Yeah. But for most girls, I don't think diluting, it would be very helpful.

[00:11:52] Phil: Yeah. So what would you say for someone who you feel is like, whether it's arrogant or just really they're they think they're a [00:12:00] lot better than they are.

So their confidence level is higher on the girls side. What would you do with that?

[00:12:05] Shay: I mean, here's my take on could we say the arrogance and cockiness is similar? Yeah. Okay. Let's use those words interchangeably. So let's say cockiness slash arrogance. Versus confidence. I believe that arrogance is kind of like this fake confidence that they're, they're, they're kind of putting up a facade of like, Hey, I'm confident, but on the inside, like really deep down, there's something in there where it's like, I don't actually feel confident.

So. Fake and like externally project that I am confident. So I think that's a big difference. Like cockiness is like kind of a fake thing. That's just like putting on a show, whereas like real confidence, like you don't feel like you have to like show other people that you're confident because you know, you're confident in yourself.

Yeah. So that's how I see.

[00:12:52] Phil: Absolutely. No, I totally totally get you're saying there. I had my daughter, when she was in high school, she did. She'd be like, but they're so confident. And I said to her, I said, well, the [00:13:00] reality is it's almost a reverse corollary where the more confident you are, the more insecure you are, like the more you externally appear confident.

Yes. Yes. That's what I meant by that. Like coffee that con it often does come out as cocky. It often does come out as seemingly arrogant. And oftentimes that is actually. Proportionate to your insecurity, but it doesn't appear that way. They appear to be the most secure, but I go, I guarantee if you went into their house in their heart of hearts, they probably be in their rooms crying just as much as

[00:13:31] Shay: it's the same too.

I think it's the same kind of concept of like bullies, like bullies. They appear like macho confident, but really like they're the ones that are hurting the most. So I think it's kind of similar with that

[00:13:41] Phil: situation. All right. So how do we take that? Both from those who are cocky, arrogant, and those who are, appear insecure and are not confident and are not really healthy in, in understanding who they are, how do we, how do we instill that confidence and help them to develop the confidence in that?

Yeah. I

[00:13:57] Shay: mean, there's so many things, but I'll share [00:14:00] a few that have helped me just confidence in general, as an athlete and just as a person. I know that if there's any players listening, they're going to roll their eyes at this one because I don't want to do it. But the first one is really working on your inner insecurities by meditating, by journaling, by self-reflection right.

So you can do self-reflection many different ways. I personally do it via meditation. So that's really like getting to know yourself on a deeper level so that you can look at, you know, why you're feeling the way that you're feeling kind of getting in touch with those deep insecurities and then.

Taking action on those. So number two is really taking action and getting outside of your comfort zone, right? If, if you live a life of always just tiptoeing around and let's use the plane example, if you just play at a well enough to where you're not making mistakes, but you're not really making an impact, you can't really be confident if you are going out there and you're making mistakes and you're getting better because the only way to get better is by pushing the boundaries, making mistakes, [00:15:00] stuff like that, then that builds.

By doing difficult things, right? If you never do difficult things, it's like, well, I don't believe that I can do this. Cause I can't do hard things. But if you push yourself and you do hard things, it's it just builds up this, this trust in this credibility with yourself that like, Hey, I'm capable of doing hard things that may not be pretty all the time, but I'm capable of failing and bouncing back and I'm capable of learning from mistakes.

So I think those are two things. Aren't easy, like the self-reflection and the hay making mistakes. And can you bounce back from them? But I think those are kind of two kind of cornerstones in order to build confidence.

[00:15:38] Phil: Okay. Yeah. You know, we talk a lot about on the show, how most of the great things in life, come on, just the other side of comfortable and, you know, If we stay in our comfort zone and we're not, confident in who we are and how we play and whatever it is, then it's not going to be something that you're going to get there just by going through the motions and [00:16:00] doing the things that you've always been able to do.

Well, it's like learning uh, be able to kick with the opposite foot, right? Like that doesn't just happen. Right. You gotta work at it. It's awkward. And it, and honestly, even when you're good at it, when you think about. It's usually really awkward. You know, even if, you know, when you think about using your opposite foot, it, cause it's gotta become muscle memory and that's usually fine, but that's what I think this confidence to, it becomes that muscle memory.

When you work at it, when you practice, when you're able to do it, it really isn't a, it's not an arrogance. It's just I know I can do it.

[00:16:31] Shay: Yeah. And, and, and another huge thing too, is like confidence. Isn't like knowing like, oh, I can do this. Like, and that kind of arrogance, but it's honestly, I believe that it's like just having the willingness to try something and to fail.

Like, if you're really confident, you're like, I'm going to try this and I might fail, but that's okay. Right. Like that's a, a good measure of like real confidence right

[00:16:52] Phil: there. Yeah. No, for sure. That's something that. That willingness to fail, failing forward, right. That idea [00:17:00] to, and that honestly, for coaches out there, that's something that if you want your players to be confident, you have to have a culture where there is a freedom to fail.

If you don't have that, then you're going to, you're going to be knocking people down regularly. So yeah, absolutely. All right. So on that note with leadership, so this idea of confidence, a lot of times, You know, the players say I'm not a leader, but what I'll say to every, every player, whoever they are is everyone is leading someone.

Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, everybody is leading someone. And so one of the quotes I love from your, from your book, it's, I guess it's an Abby Wambach quote, but it says if you're not a leader on the bench, don't call yourself a leader on the field. You're either a leader everywhere or nowhere.

And the reality is everyone is like I said, so what are you thoughts on that? As far as just the different types of leaders, speak to leadership with all the players, all the girls in this case, since that's what you're focusing on and what that looks like. Because as we said, there are [00:18:00] people who people say, oh, you're a born leader, but I don't, I don't agree with.

Statement either. Cause that's usually just the loud people who everyone looks at and says, so you're telling people what to do, but that's not leadership. So can you speak to that? And what, first of all, how do you define leadership and then go from there? As far as how, when we say everyone needs to be a leader, what that different types of leadership looks like on the field, off the field, on the bench, you know, and everywhere else.

[00:18:24] Shay: How do I define leadership? That's a really good question. And if I thought about it, I might come up with a better definition, but for me, it's like having the ability to move people to a common goal. Like if just real, simply right. Having the ability to move and inspire people towards a common goal. And I, what you were saying about, oh, if you're a born leader, it's usually the loud people.

And I think, I think still, like when we talk about leadership, I think a lot of times. You know, girls and teams and stuff, they assume that the loudest, most extroverted girl on the team should be the team captain. Right. And it's like that, like [00:19:00] maybe, but that's not always the case just because you're loud and extroverted doesn't mean that you're a good leader.

And just because you're quiet and introvert. Doesn't mean that you're a bad leader, right? There's so many different kinds of, leaders. And I think if we were talking about leadership, we really need to address titles because there are so many times where you have a group of girls or a team of whatever, and there's lots of.

Two captains on the team and I'll have a conversation with someone that's not a captain and, you know, ask them to go address something with the team. They're like, I can, I'm not a, I'm not a captain. I'm not a leader. I'm like, who says, just cause it's not your title. It doesn't mean that you're not a leader.

Right. So like title. At title, doesn't make you a leader, your actions, how you treat people. That is what makes you a leader, not like some, you know, armband or whatever it is. So it's like everybody, I love how you said everybody is a leader to somebody. And really like, if you're like, I'm really not a leader to anybody, you're a leader to [00:20:00] yourself.

Right. Going back to self leadership. So number one, yes. You have to lead yourself. Number two, like that's, that's, that's the most important thing. If you can't lead yourself, how can you expect other people to follow you? And if we're talking in terms of teams, I think it's so important to have a leadership team or, you know, the captains to be different leaders. Cause if you have all these extroverted loud leaders, then like some players, aren't going to resonate with that. And sometimes like they're not going to be listening correctly. And, and I think listening is one of the biggest traits of the leadership.

So I think it's really important, like for coaches listening, when you're trying to pick team captains or whatever, like pick, pick some that are maybe the loud, like vocally. And then some that are more of your quiet reserve. Like I'm just going to put my head down and put in the work kind of leaders. And my senior year, like we had three of them, three of the captains, I was more of the, not super [00:21:00] vocal, like a little bit, but more of just like, I'm just going to put in the work.

And then the other ones were the ones who were. Address things and confrontation and like all that kind of stuff. So I think it's so important that you don't just have one type of leader in your team or in your organization. And also for the, for the, you know, the, the people, the teammates that aren't, the leaders so-called leaders is like really.

Not like not believing that you can't also step into a leadership role just because you're not a leader or so

[00:21:34] Phil: called leader. Absolutely. You know, that's something I told my daughter throughout her youth, well, she's, she's only 13, but the last four or five years, you know, she wasn't captain a few of the years and then she was bummed out and I said, it doesn't mean you're not.

Yes, of course you're a leader, you know, and now she's captain and I said that doesn't change anything. You still lead, you know, the same way you always have when you didn't have the band on, you know, because that's who you are. And she knew that she [00:22:00] gets it and it, which is really, really cool to be able to learn that lesson, you know, at 13, through the.

It is what I absolutely love seeing with her. But I know with our, with our team, you talked about that, the importance of having different personality styles on the leadership team. And that's what we do at the high school team at Folsom high, where, where I coach in is we have those, that leadership team and we purposefully have the different personality styles represented on there this year.

Two of our, I mean, The captains, the only reason they were captured is because they went to midfield that ha you know, at the beginning of the game but we didn't even have the title. But what you find is the people who want to go to midfield are the outgoing ones. Totally. Unless you tell the reserved ones to go, they won't go.

So we didn't even have arm bands. We didn't have anything. I don't, you know, the referees, I guess, wrote the number down, whatever. Okay. That was something that was so important to us. And some people asked, Hey, can I go to midfield? We're like, sure. You know, whatever, if you want to go go but you guys decide amongst yourselves, who's going, and who's going to the one kind of representing the team today.

But you see in the [00:23:00] teams, the girls that people want to follow, and those are the, those are the leaders, right? Whether they call themselves that, whether you call them that whatever. And there's also the ones who are just quietly doing their job. Yeah. Every day we had some players that never played. They never even sniffed the field.

And they led by coming to every single practice and giving their all, they just, they wanted to be a part of that team. And that was to me. And that led me to that, that inspired me to be like, man, this is so cool to see that. Cause I would have been the guy I've can't remember playing, man. I don't know if I can handle this.

I don't know if I want to play. So that was something. I love what you were just talking about there. And I think it's so important for us to instill into our teams and to, I think often actually express it as coaches, as leaders of the, of the, of the players to be able to encourage that in them. So.

Those reserved people understand that you're always leading people with that work ethic. If [00:24:00]you're coming out and working really, really hard. And oftentimes that's the way it is. The reserved people are the ones who are going to work that and go that extra mile and do that extra thing. And they're never going to talk about it.

And so to be able to encourage them to speak up when necessary, but also just keep doing that and you will lead and you are a leader in that. So what are your thoughts on. I

[00:24:22] Shay: love that because it really is about the actions. It's way more about the actions and what the leader actually does and what the leader says.

Also, it's really important how the leader says something more so than, than what they say about how they say it. And one thing I wanted to hit on the captain saying, and you can probably relate to this too is on, on girls' teams, honestly. Most of the time there's cliques on a girl's teams, boys teams.

I'm not so sure, but girls teams there's, there's always clicks for the most part. And so a lot of times I see coaches and stuff, select captains that they're all a part of one click. And a lot of times the coach doesn't know [00:25:00] that like the coach isn't always aware of. The clicks and the divisions of the groups and the team.

But I think it's so important to make sure that your, your captains are not just from one click because then everybody else feels unheard and unseen. And it's just like, this one-click is getting everything. So I think that's huge, but first you have to be aware of, are there cliques on my team?

And if so, what are the. And then we have to defer diversify

[00:25:26] Phil: a little bit. Yep. That's why studying your players and studying your team is so important. And getting to know them in some levels, it's a lot easier to do that than others. It's hard when you're just coming in and you get them for a couple hours and you're doing practice plans and so on.

But yeah, and I th I'd say, you know, come up with ways. Figure out what those clicks are to break down the clicks as much as possible bonding events, things like that, that can help with that. But do you have any other thoughts on how to identify and kind of break up cliques, at least during practices and during games and during while they're part of the.

Well, one

[00:25:58] Shay: thing and I'll, I'll get to, you know, [00:26:00] during the things in a minute, but I'm working with a high school team in Colorado right now. And I didn't even think about it in terms of, you know, clicks and stuff. But I sent out a survey where they sent it back to me, anonymously and shared, you know, what's going right.

What's not going right. And a lot of them were talking about clicks and talking about the communication and the division of the team. And so just doing that, like doing it sending out I send out like a Google form where. So, I don't know who said what, but like now I know that, okay, that's a problem.

That's in the team that maybe the coach knows, but maybe the coach doesn't. So that's something that you can do to kind of get a gauge of where my team is at, as far as that goes. But in practices, I mean, one of the really simple things once, you know, where the clicks are, and who's a part of what.

Forcing people to warm up with other people, forcing different teams. And you'll always see the girls standing next to each other, like put us, put us together. And then when you don't put them together, they get all upset and everything. But really [00:27:00] just forcing the team to like work with other people.

And then off of the field is probably, I would say the most important part you know, putting together a team dinners or going out to the movies or bowling actually movies. Isn't so good because then they don't talk. Well, I like doing, doing stuff outside of practice is huge. Like all of the teams, I was a part of, I was so blessed to have such amazing, amazing teams.

We did stuff together all the time and not just a few cliquey people, like not inviting everybody, but the whole team was invited. And that was, I think the thing that helped our team chemistry the most. Yeah,

[00:27:38] Phil: absolutely I totally agree with all that. And I know that that's even like when we do vitamins with our team, you do one and then you, one side of the line just steps down one spot and then they're up and what's cool is you watch them.

They're all talking. They're all laughing. They're all having a blast. And, and so it just, it's, it's all part of that, developing that culture and just to let them know, Hey, you're part of a [00:28:00] team. We gotta be a unit. We gotta be one. So if you don't like someone get over. And figure it out, you know, so, and hopefully that can happen.

You know, it doesn't always happen and there are toxic teams. And so, but how can we teach them that, you know, in life you're going to be working in teams. And so how can you figure out how to work together and, and hopefully like it, cause it's a whole lot better when you actually work past issues that you have with each other.

All right. So, One of the other things that you talk about in the book. And this is something that I'm just curious to hear your thoughts on why you think this is, but there's a quote that says, according to research conducted by Ernst and young 94% of women who hold C suite level positions is that CEOs, CFOs CEOs and, and other C level positions are former athletes of those 52% played sports at the collegiate level.

This speaks to the importance of why playing sports and developing leadership skills now is so important. Why do you think that is? Just those numbers. I mean, that's a song that's astonishing. And that was, I think if it [00:29:00] was like that, that was in the early mid, like 2008 or something if I remember correctly, but still, I imagine it's very similar today as well, but what do you think.

[00:29:09] Shay: Yeah. I mean, if I had to just, you know, take some educated whacks at it, I would say number one is the leadership thing. Like sports teaches you leadership, whether it's learning how to be a leader, learning how to be a great listener, whatever it is. So I think that is a big part of it, but also just like.

The work ethic and like being, having a drive to get better at something and being able to bounce back from losses and failures and you know, that kind of thing. And then another thing too, is being able to work with lots of different types of people, right? In your, in your career, you have, you know, Five 10 coaches, right?

Like you have a bunch of different coaches. And so you learn how to work with different coaches, but then also you have, you know, probably hundreds of different teammates that you work with throughout your career. And so it's really like, they, you [00:30:00] have to learn. Work with other people, cooperate with other people handle issues and conflicts with other people.

So I think it really is like, I mean, a team is essentially a mini company in many organization. Right. So it really is just like practice and how to be a good teammate and how to work towards something and have that drive to really get better at something and have the drive to, you know, You know, make something of yourself and, and just accomplish things And just better.

[00:30:32] Phil: Yeah, I'd agree with that. I know I've talked with many high-level positions in different companies, different organizations, and just my, my experience in law firms and, and, and running a nonprofit and hiring people who have played sports and others who have not played team sports in particular.

And the differences are, you know, It's very, very noticeable to see, you know, just because exactly what you just talked about, that understanding what it is to [00:31:00] play in a team, what it is to know your role, what it is to work really hard to, if you're not starting to start, you know, to push through that know, to push you through that negative experience.

And, you know, particularly when it comes to females in the, in the business world, it's it's you got to push through a lot of junk. Yeah, it's just the reality. There are, you know, not all, not all companies are, you know, make it more difficult. But there definitely are men who are like, you gotta be. As a, as a female there, there absolutely are some.

And, you know, to say every, like you said earlier, it's not every, it's probably, I don't even know if it's a majority is probably isn't, but there are some loud ones who are noxious about it. And, and yeah. And there are some pay differences and there are some other things that, that there's a lot of issues behind that.

So we don't have time to get into all those reasons on this podcast. And I know, I mean, there's, there's a million of them, so, I think that persistence, that confidence that we talked about earlier, that [00:32:00] leadership, that ability to, you know, when someone says no to not be done, to not be crushed by that, and you learn that and you learn that in sports, you learn that in soccer.

So, yeah, I just wanted to chat for that for, for a few minutes, but all right. So, You're writing another book. What is that? Kind of like I asked before, what's that? What is that book and why are you writing? You know, some people just write one book and they're like, that was too much work. I don't want ever want to do it again.

And I'm in that camp. That's why I'm doing so many podcasts. But you kind of went the other actually you started with the podcast and then now you're going to books. So, what is this new book? And w w Y. And when are we going to be able to pick it up? I

[00:32:38] Shay: have no idea when you're going to be able to pick it up because I haven't started

[00:32:41] Phil: writing.

Oh, I thought you had written it. Oh man. Okay. I know

[00:32:45] Shay: what it's going to be about. I have the, the theme, the, not the title, but I know what it's going to be about. It's going to be. Still for, you know, female athletes, teenage athletes, but more so on the emotional side of [00:33:00] things, talking about mental health, a lot talking about, okay, we got the mind, we got the body, like the action.

And then we also have, you know, the social issues. I didn't go very deep into like, you know, social comparison and pressure, that kind of stuff in the first book. So going deep into that and then emotional stuff. So the mental, yeah. How to deal with negative emotions, how to just deal with the, the things that all of us, not so fun stuff of being a teenage girl.

And this book, I know that this book is going to be so much I don't know if harder is the right word, but so much harder to write, just because I think with my second book, I've, I've gotten so much more practice with this work and I think I'm going to be a little bit more of a. Not a perfectionist, cause I'm not a perfectionist at all, but I'm going to want it to like go really deep.

Whereas the first book, it just kinda like flowed out of me and it was like a pretty easy, right. But the second book is going to be a lot deeper is going to require a [00:34:00] lot more from me. So I honestly. My goal is to start writing it this year within the next few months, but I'm not putting deadlines on it yet because I don't, I don't want to force it.

Like I want it to, I want it to really be able to, you know, come from my heart and not just my head. And so, yeah, we'll, I'll let you know when it's, when it's ready.

[00:34:17] Phil: We'll get it back on. We'll get it back on after you've written it. And then. And we'll we'll talk about that too, but I do want to chat a little bit about what you talked about there.

I mean,

The mental health struggles, the anxiety, the, the emotional side of the game that, you know, that emotional, mental psychosocial side of the game and side of our lives is, is becoming, you know, really coming to the forefront, unfortunately, because of a lot of negative things that are going on in our society.

So. And especially, I mean, even it's even been, it was well before COVID, but with COVID it's been just like exacerbated to another level, but can you speak to just those you know, and we can bring in social media, whatever the idea of [00:35:00] comparison is the thief of joy, which is absolutely true. But what, what do you think is this cauldron that has happened first of all?

What is the root of that in your opinion, and how can we, how can we really address it in a healthy way? I mean, obviously everyone's different, but what are some things, what are some tools that, that we can use in, and from what you've learned and what you're coaching as you're working through with these female athletes in public.


[00:35:27] Shay: I mean, I don't know if I could say like there's one route. I think it's kind of a combination of a bunch of stuff. So with COVID obviously it's just like the uncertainty, like uncertainty causes anxiety especially for kids being taken away from their friends and their structures and their sports, I think was a huge part of it.

Not knowing when they're going to be able to go play again and not knowing, you know, when they can go hang out with their friends and stuff, I think is a big part of it. And then with that, Now that there, they weren't playing and weren't going to school. What are they doing more of [00:36:00] now, as they're on social media now they're probably moving less, you know, they're more just at home on their devices.

And so I think, you know, a combination of those things in particular around COVID was a huge kind of root cause of the, you know, spike in, you know, anxiety and depression that we saw. And with social media, it's. Oh, we could have a whole episode on this I'm sure. But yeah, for me, even personally, like I, I delete social media four days out of the week.

So I'm only on social media three days out of the week, because I just feel better that way. I'm not, I'm like able to do more of what I love and I'm not comparing myself. And like, people may look at me and be like, oh, she hasn't compare herself. Yes, I do. Literally yesterday. I was comparing myself and I got angry and I deleted social media after that.

And so like, it's still for, for everybody. It's a huge, like you said, it's a thief of joy. So social media is a big part of it. So if we're talking about [00:37:00] ways to help with anxiety and depression and stuff like that, we could, you know, hit those three things on the head. So number one is. Don't let social media use you.

So have some boundaries around social media use and in order to have boundaries around it, you first have to be aware of how it affects you. What part of it affects you? You know, what stuff that you're looking at is like, Ooh, I don't feel so good about that. So really paying attention to how you feel.

And so for me, I took a fairly drastic measure and that's what I do. I've been doing it for probably a month, but I would encourage, you know, Girls listening or whatever, like even before games can be a big thing, just deleting your social media and you know, a couple hours before your game can be huge.

And you know, maybe it's setting limits. Maybe it's taking one day off of social media, whatever it is, but that can be a massive help to anxiety. And another thing, honestly, Very simple. It's just [00:38:00]moving, I've read some studies and stuff. And listen to podcasts that say like for anxiety, like just moving and exercise is way more helpful than taking medication.

Yep. Right. So moving. Getting outside being in the sun, being in nature. Like these are things that are free that anybody can do that I promise you will have a huge impact on your anxiety. And then if I was to say one more, that's completely changed my life. In addition to those two is just leaving room for silence, whether that's meditation, some sort of self-reflection, it could be breath work, whatever it is is just like getting rid of the devices, shutting down all the noise and just really tuning into.

Just the silence around you, I think can be really huge to kind of, you know, deregulate our crazy nervous systems.

[00:38:49] Phil: And you can combine all three by going for a walk without your phone and without headphones and listening.

[00:38:59] Shay: I did [00:39:00] that. So yesterday I was in the kitchen, a lot of scrolling on my phone and I started comparing myself.

I deleted it. And then I went for a walk with my dog. I left my phone. Usually I'll listen to a podcast when I walk, but I left my phone. I was like, I just need. I just need to kind of just not have anything coming in right now. So yeah. Walking is massive.

[00:39:19] Phil: And it's going to sound like I'm doing all these things right now because literally this morning, not no joke, two and a half hours ago before this interview, I just got the freedom app, which I'd had before and you can set, you know, hours to be able to just completely.

Kicked off of all different social media and other apps. I mean, even I message and FaceTime, and it won't even let you do it now. You can always click it off, but you know, it's another helper, right. And I'm not being sponsored by, you know, freedom app. I wish I were, but you know that, and I literally went for a walk this morning and took my headphones out, put my phone in my pocket and just.

And just then just listened and just walked and to be able to [00:40:00] just do that is so it's just relieving. It's like release of all this pressure from society around you and news and just the negatives that are out there. There's so much noise. That's trying to get our attention and to be able to say, okay, I'm just going to center.

You know, if, if you're a Christian like me, you can center on scripture. You can send her on whatever it is. If you're, if you're. I find that whatever it is that you can just be able to say, okay, I just need to really just quiet my mind because we are bombarded with junk and noise. And most of it's trying to tell us that we're not enough.

Most of it is trying to tell us that we were w we need more, all advertising is about, you need more, you need this more thing. And so love what you, what you just talked about there. And I totally agree with that. Any other thoughts on what I just talked about?

[00:40:54] Shay: I mean seriously, like those three things, let's say being outside of walking, getting off social [00:41:00] media and being, you know, and silence, those three things literally will change your life.

Like, I don't say that lightly, like those are three things that for me, There are absolute non-negotiables that? Not just, not just going to help you, like, you know, be more calm and help with anxiety, but they're going to help you be more confident because you're more, clear-headed, you're more like connected with yourself instead of always being plugged in to what other people are.

[00:41:24] Phil: Yeah. And just a couple episodes ago, I believe it will be a couple episodes ago when I release this. Dr. O'Neill Dan O'Neil, who wrote survival of the fit, talks about that. He has the actual studies and he talks about the studies on that with the lack of exercise actually has led to an increase in mental health issues.

And so this isn't just something that we're musing about. It actually has science scientific studies that actually support it. So. Now let's get into some of the stuff that we we've talked about with with our guests here, but what are some of the lessons, you know, you've learned directly, we've talked about some of this, but just directly from playing soccer [00:42:00] or getting injured.

You can talk about that too, but how have you used them in your various jobs and your mental health training, what would the, the lessons from the actual game.

[00:42:09] Shay: I would say the biggest lesson that I've learned is that your achievements on the field or in business or whatever it is, don't equal yourself worth.

I used to think that the more better I performed more money, I made whatever the better person I was a more worthy of a person I was. And that was like a childhood belief that I had because of my sport. And so maybe in a roundabout way, it's really taught me that your achievements and your successes.

And your sport or your job or whatever it is, they don't reflect your, your self-worth. So I think that's the biggest lesson that I honestly just figured out last year, to be honest.

[00:42:47] Phil: Yeah. And is there any different answer that you'd say there? Anything additional that lessons you learned directly from the game that you've applied, you know, and used in your personal relationships outside of.

[00:42:57] Shay: Oh, yeah. I mean, personal relationships. This [00:43:00] one is like really, really simple. But with, with, if we were talking about the sport and then relationships, what you put into it is what you're going to get out of it. Right? If you go in and you, and you play 50%, it's like, you're not really going to get much out of it.

Same thing with a. Personal relationship, a, you know, coworker, a boss, a romantic relationship, whatever you put into it as what you're going to get out of it. And I think that's a great lesson of sports is like the effort you put in is going to breed those reasons.

[00:43:28] Phil: Oh, I love that. No one, no one has said that.

And I absolutely love that. That is a, that is a great one. I love it. When you put in you'll get out and I, yeah. As friendships for sure. Okay. So, you have a few things that you're doing. We've talked about the books, we've mentioned the podcast, but what's the name of the podcast. And how can people get in touch with you to just talk about your podcast, talk about the trainings that you have and the coaching program that you have and just how people get in touch with you.

If they're interested in.

[00:43:56] Shay: Yeah. So the podcast is the Alpha Girl Confidence podcast. You [00:44:00] can find it on Spotify, apple, and then on my website, which is alpha role confidence. And then my group coaching program, which I work with girls ages 10 to about 16 and all sports. We have mostly soccer players, but all sports and that's the alpha girl collective.

Where we, we meet every single week. We have coaching calls on all of the stuff we talked about today. Each month we have a dedicated mental health chat, which I absolutely love those. And then they also have kind of a self guided course you know, going through the different pillars of confidence and mindset and kind of, you know, the leadership and stuff we talked about today as well.

So, you can find more information there on my website, alphaconfidence.com

[00:44:41] Phil: All right. All right. And how have you, how long have you been doing that? First of all and what kind of results have you seen out of it?

[00:44:49] Shay: Yeah, so I've been doing it for about two years and it's evolved and it's changed names, but essentially I've been doing that group coaching for about two years.

And the [00:45:00] results I've seen have been pretty freaking awesome. So the coolest thing about it is that number one, girls see that they're not alone, right? Because a lot of times the hardest thing is like, there's something wrong with me. I'm alone. Like no one else is going through this, but when they get in a group and a group of other girls that are going through the same thing, Oh, my gosh.

That's so powerful in and of itself. So I've had girls that like, yes, they'll take more chances and they'll have awesome results on the field. But more than that, like I've had girls who were like before, they would like never go outside of their comfort zone with school, but then there, you know, I was going to say, trying out, that's not the right word I'm applying for.

Like, I don't even think applying is the right word, but for like class president, right? Like, oh, running, running, running for class president and like, the, I don't even know the name of it where you have like a pig, like the farm thing and like getting, getting, getting really cool scholarships. So the coolest thing for me.

Isn't that they score more goals, although that's great. But it's just that they're more sure of themselves [00:46:00] and more willing to take chances in all areas of their life enabled to kind of bounce back from things that don't always

[00:46:06] Phil: go right. Yeah, absolutely. I, that also is a first that the pig reference what's that called?

Well, it could be a future farmers of America. It could be, yeah. Ag farm. We called it the

[00:46:21] Shay: IFA, but I'm like, I don't know. They have a pig or something.

[00:46:23] Phil: They have a pig. And how much I know about it. I actually in mission Viejo, California, south orange county, California. We actually had a farm on our campus still there, still there to this day, right off I five.

And there is a farm literally right now. So like part of the auto shop as well. It's total old school. It's awesome. Yeah, definitely not what you'd expect in the middle of the suburbs of LA, but it is there and, you know, I think they're pretty good at what they're doing. So, all right. The big thing. Cool.

There's no confidence in that as well. Ah, no, that's great. I'd love to hear that. That's so encouraging to hear, and like you [00:47:00] said to know, you're not alone is massive because it does seem like you're, you're alone when you're going through a lot of these things, especially when you look on social media and you see everyone.

You're doing so great. Right. You know, so, but yeah, so, all right, cool. The last question it's always bittersweet. Daddy's last question is as you know, doing a podcast, you know, you want to go hours and hours. I have no doubt. But what have you read, watched or listened to that has impacted your thinking on, on how soccer explains life and leader?


[00:47:26] Shay: man. I I'm a huge, huge reader, so I don't know if specific to soccer. But some of the stuff that I've listened to and read, I dunno if you're familiar with like impact theory like that kind of stuff, like the mindset that like going after your goals, that kind of stuff. And then a lot of more emotional and communication type books of like how to.

Be connected with yourself. And then in turn, be a better leader, be a better, you know, mom, dad, coach, like whatever it is, those are, those are the things that I really love. And I could look over at my bookcase right now [00:48:00] and see a whole bunch of whole bunch of things. One book that I'm just starting to read, which is a classic is Man's Search for Meaning.

Have you read that? I have

[00:48:08] Phil: not. I have

[00:48:09] Shay: not. Okay. So Viktor Frankl who went on. And the Nazi camps just like the power of having a purpose you know, and like having a why with whatever you do. And so I'm a huge, huge reader. I literally want to make my whole office a library. So maybe one day

[00:48:27] Phil: you actually read books or do you listen to.

[00:48:30] Shay: Mostly read 90% read 10%. Listen. I can only listen to a certain amount

[00:48:35] Phil: of books. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. I I, as people know on this, I usually listen to everything, but there's a few books I'm reading now because they aren't on audio. But but I've heard a lot about that book.

I've never, never actually picked it up. I think I need to though. So. Cool. All right. Well, you know, I just really appreciate you taking the time to be a part of this taking and really what you're doing. I mean, I've a huge heart [00:49:00] coaching girls. I see it. I see it all the time having three girls. I know, I know the, I know the drill.

I know the, the stuff that goes along with just being a kid nowadays, and it's really hard. So to know folks like you or are working with them is super encouraging to me. And so thanks for being who you are and do what you do and being on. Thank

[00:49:18] Shay: you. I appreciate you having me.

[00:49:19] Phil: Absolutely. All right, folks.

Well, what, what Shay did not know, she basically was given an advertisement for coaching the bigger game I'm talking there at the end about knowing your, why talking about the, you know, self-awareness and self care and all these different things. So if that's an interesting to you as well, you know, go check out coachingthebiggergame.com for coaches really just to help you to, to with all the people's side of the.

Side of things, this stuff that we talked about today and a whole lot more. So if you're interested in that, go check that out warriorwaysoccer.com is where you can find out all things Warrior Way with Paul and Marci Jobson and what they're doing there in Waco, and now all over the country with our consulting and the, and the giving and all kinds of other stuff that they're doing.

So [00:50:00] pretty cool things there. Check that out as well. And as always, we just hope that you take in what you're learning through this podcast and you are using it to help you be a better parent, a better spouse, a better friend, a better leader in all that you're doing, and that you do continually remind yourself that soccer does explain life and leadership.

Thanks a lot. Have a great day.