Your mom can teach you a whole lot about how to be a good “inner coach” to yourself. Most healthy moms are unbelievably forgiving when their sons or daughters mess up. These moms don’t punish their kids for their mistakes or criticize them. Instead, they forgive and forget. A good mother is terminally optimistic about her child and loves him/her unconditionally. A good mother does not have her ego overly tied up in the child’s performance. She doesn’t see her child’s failures as a personal insult. She doesn’t drive her child mercilessly nor berate him/her for falling short of goals. A good mom does not make the mistake of linking her child’s self-worth with his/her performance. In many ways, this healthy attitude of unconditional love, kindness and forgiveness should be adopted by all athletes as a way to treat themselves (or others for that matter) whenever failures, mistakes and setbacks come knocking on their door. I’m not talking about shirking responsibility here or blaming everyone else whenever things go wrong. What I am talking about is understanding the fact that to fail is human and that what we most need from ourselves and others when we fall short is understanding and compassion. Being a punitive mom or being a punitive “inner coach” will never help you get to your goals. Instead, it will leave you feeling worse about yourself.