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My guest today is Mike Huber.

We go deep talking about: 

  • The fears, thoughts, and decisions leading to Mike’s divorce, 
  • Navigating risk to step into the unknown,
  • The logistics of mindfully co-parenting and reaching common ground,
  • Taking full responsibility, being honest, and communicating effectively, 
  • Breaking the cycle and forgiving your parents,
  • Recovery from gambling addiction, 
  • What dads can learn from Mike’s expertise as a mental performance coach for young athletes 
  • How to differentiate the roles of coach, mentor, and father

Mike Huber is a mental performance coach, father, athlete, and mentor. Before entering mental performance coaching, he spent over 20 years as a successful business consultant working for globally-recognized professional firms, such as Ernst & Young, KPMG, and Cushman & Wakefield. He came to realize that his “traditional” consulting career was truly aligned with his mission of helping others be better.

Today, he is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant® with a master’s degree in sport psychology. His practice is geared to helping athletes and performers of all types to gain a mental and emotional edge and pursue their potential in sport and life. His most important job is as father to his two children: Patrick, 13 and Lucy, 11.

Find Mike online at:





Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. My guest today is Mike Huber. And we go deep talking about the fears, thoughts and decisions leading to Mike's divorce, navigating the risk to step into the unknown, the logistics of mindfully co parenting and reaching common ground, taking full responsibility, being honest and communicating effectively breaking the cycle and forgiving your own parents recovery from Mike's gambling addiction. What dads can learn from Mike's expertise as a mental performance coach for young athletes, and how to differentiate the roles of coach, mentor and father. Mike Huber is a mental performance coach, Father, athlete and mentor before entering mental performance coaching he spent over 20 years as a successful business consultant working for globally recognized professional firms such as Ernst and Young KPMG and Cushman and Wakefield. He came to realize that his traditional consulting career was truly aligned with his mission of helping others be better. Today, he's a certified mental performance consultant with a master's degree in sports psychology. His practice is geared to helping athletes and performers of all types to gain a mental and emotional edge and pursue their potential in sport and life. His most important job is his father to his two children, Patrick 13, and Lucy 11. You can find Mike online at on Instagram and Facebook at the freshmanfoundation or on Twitter at thefreshfound. This is an excellent conversation, I got introduced to Mike and he was immediately vulnerable and open and willing to go there, even though this is almost outside of his wheelhouse to be on a podcast like this. And so I'm just so grateful for Mike to be able to share his story because as you'll hear, one of the biggest steps he took was finally putting himself out there and being open and being vulnerable. And this is like almost part of his own healing journey to share this journey with you. So I hope you learned a lot from this. There's a lot of great stuff from Mike's recovery to addiction and divorce, as we already talked about, as well as there's some great tips at the very end around what Mike does with young athletes that I think you as a father will be able to implement and help your sons and daughters with all that being said, let's welcome Mike Huber to the Dad.Work podcast. Here we go.

Mike Huber, thank you. And welcome to the Dad.Work Podcast. I'm excited to talk to you. Because there's a lot of stuff that I have been seeing from guys in my community who are like single fatherhood, how do I teach my kids all this kind of stuff, and like you just came up as the guy to talk to you. So welcome, and thanks for spending time with me, man.

Mike Huber 2:33

Thanks so much, Curt. It's great to be on. Yeah. And

Curt Storring 2:36

one of the questions I asked before this as like, hey, you've got you know, a business, you're doing this kind of thing. But like, Why? Why are you sharing your story? Because it seems to me like this is you're not like, in men's workspace, you're not in like the, I don't know, the kind of stuff that I'm doing necessarily, but it's so impactful. So like, why do you want to share everything that you're going through, because it's really vulnerable?

Mike Huber 2:56

Yeah, I appreciate that. Um, you know, given my own experiences, I just think it's really important for me to share what I've been through, because I find that it helps other people with what they're going through. And I've had a lot of people in my life who have opened up to me and have given so willingly of their time and energy and sharing of themselves. I just feel like it's the, it's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do. And it makes me feel better about myself, you know, from talking about it selfishly. You know, being able to tell my story openly at 46 years old is pretty, it's pretty groundbreaking for me, because for most of my life, I kept many things to myself. And, you know, the lack of willingness to share openly, probably hurt me in a lot of ways, you know, in my past.

Curt Storring 3:42

Yeah. And that's actually an interesting point, because I was shocked that simply the act of telling your story, and you're right, it does feel selfish, almost like, Oh, who's gonna want to listen to me, like I'm taking up space here. And yet, there's something about simply vocalizing what you've gone through, and having people listen that it's like, oh, man, what a weight off your shoulders. And I also heard you say, before, we talked about this, that there's like, this belief on how men should be, like, strong. Is there anything else to add to that? Like, do we need to be like that?

Mike Huber 4:11

Yeah, I think it's a detriment. You know, I think we live in a world now where there's so much pressure, and there's so much outside influence. And I think trying to do everything on your own and keeping things to yourself, while it may appear to insulate people from what you have going on. I think it just builds up more stress into the system and ultimately leads to potentially not so great behavior. And again, I'm only speaking from experience, and I'm sure we'll get into that. But I think, you know, the inability to open up to people led to some really significant issues for myself.

Curt Storring 4:45

Yeah, that's a great point. And just like, we got to have permission to talk about this kind of stuff, which is what you're doing today. So thank you. I want to start what how many kids have you gotten?

Mike Huber 4:54

I have two kids. I have a boys Yeah, boys 13 and a daughter who's 11

Curt Storring 4:59

Okay, and we're gonna Getting into the teenage stuff to man, we're gonna cover a lot of good stuff that I've been being I've been asked about. And I'm just like, Man, I'm not there yet. You know, I haven't gone through this. My kids are like the oldest ones almost nine, man. Okay, so we're gonna talk about divorce, single parenting, addiction, maybe some teenage parenting, maybe we'll go there as well as like the work you do with young athletes. So first of all, I want to dive into just like what fatherhood was like for you, because I'm always interested for me. It was awful. Like, I hated it. And I was bad at it. It triggered me I was angry all the time. And it was like the single greatest teacher, I was like, I have to sort myself out because I didn't know how bad I felt until my kids showed me. And so I'm grateful for them forever. But what was that journey? Like for you? Was it smooth sailing? Or did you also have a bit of tumultuous times,

Mike Huber 5:49

I definitely wouldn't describe it as smooth sailing. But I would say that I knew from a very early age before I became a father that I wanted to be one. And so when my kids were born, I was really happy, you know, at least externally happy that they were there, I felt really grateful to have them. And it was it wasn't, you know, it didn't feel like a burden. Um, it was definitely hard, though, I learned a lot of things. And I went through a lot of stuff in the early years with with my kids. But I think the bigger challenge for me became maintaining a relationship with my ex wife, because there's so much more responsibility and so much more stress and, you know, just strain on your time, and your ability to do the things you love to do that, that really put that really puts some stress in the system. And that was really hard for me that that aspect of everything else, the kids were easier. on the easy side, everything else got really hard with the kids.

Curt Storring 6:48

Interesting. And what were those? What were those things like with your partner? Why did it break down? What was that breakdown looking like?

Mike Huber 6:54

This lack of communication, I think is a big part of it. You know, I think everybody's sort of frazzled, you know, a lot of the time, especially when you have little ones. And our relationship just took a backseat, right? Everything was about the kids. And it wasn't about us. And I resented that. But I also was at a point in my life where I didn't really know what I was feeling like I didn't understand my feelings about it. And so it just led to a lot of anger and resentment towards her, because I felt like it was her fault. But that's not true. It's a two way street. But yeah, I felt I felt neglected. I resented her. It just, I felt like I was kind of on my own. And that that was really, really difficult on my life.

Curt Storring 7:37

Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And how did you start to understand these feelings? You said, like you didn't really know how to deal with it, you didn't know what you were thinking or feeling, then you're not thinking, pardon me feeling? How did you start to develop those things, assuming that that's sort of where you're at now?

Mike Huber 7:51

Yeah. So you know, not to jump ahead. But I really started to understand that in recovery. Right. Okay. So that was about nine years ago. So my kids, my oldest was four when I went into recovery from a compulsive gambling addiction. And that was a real turning point in my life in terms of not only kind of just getting my behavior into a place where it was more respectable, but I really did start to do a lot of that internal work, so to speak, you know, not only in in programs, but also with a therapist on my own. And so that's where I really started to put my finger on, like, what's going on here? Why was this happening? You know, what was happening there? Why did I feel this way? And I started to understand and unwind a lot of that. And just by virtue of practicing and working on that, now, I'm in a place in my life where I know like, Oh, I'm angry. And here's why I'm angry. And this is what it's relating to. And so I can make sense of it faster, so that I don't have blow ups because it was a lot of anger. And I didn't know how to deal with anything other than to blow it out. And that was just not a healthy way to do it for me and the other people around me. Yeah, I

Curt Storring 8:59

relate to that big time, that was my biggest thing to just blow it up every instance. And I got to be in control. And it was all me. The the thing that came up from that, that I want to touch on is that like, a lot of the things that happen to guys that make a change is like it's the Mack truck, you get hit with this truck, and it blows everything up. And then you learn a great lesson. And like what I love to do on this show is just like, share those stories, because, like To be frank, in your life, if you're listening, it might take a big blow up like it really might. We're very stubborn as men. But what I'm hoping to do with this series with this podcast is introduce you to stories, like Mike's where it's like, okay, there was this thing you can get to this level where it just blows up. And yeah, you'll learn some great stuff, but like, Man, this stuff in the wake. So if you're listening, start to pay better attention to your body to your feelings. introspect a little bit, because it doesn't have to be that it might be like a two by four across the back of the head, but like, get there before the Mack truck. It's so much easier. So so use what you're listening to to like, check in with your own body and see like, Oh, am I relating to anything Mike saying here? I want to go into a little bit more about like, what the process is like for you to decide to have a marriage? And because this is something that like, I think about I go like, well, what would it take? Like, what repair work could I have done? And one of the things I'd like to ask is, what would you have done differently today? So maybe start us at like, what that looked like that conversation? Like, how are you going to parent your kids, just because like a lot of guys are going through that. And they want to know what questions to ask and where to go. And then I'm going to ask like, what might you have done differently?

Mike Huber 10:37

Well, if I go back, I mean, the idea that divorce was an option, went back a number of years. So I've been divorced for about 18 months, it probably goes back three or four years, where I started to work through some of the feelings I was having about myself in my life in therapy. And through that I started to contemplate, like, Is this the place is this relationship right for me. Because when I entered into the relationship 18 years ago, or whatever it was, I was a very different person in my 20s. And I am now and so there was almost this, like hypothesis that I entered the relationship on false pretense. You know, like, I just wasn't the same person that I was. But at the same time, I have two kids, I have a house, we've built this life together. It's, it's not something where I would just wake up one day and go, Hey, we're gonna get divorced. It was like, I spent, you know, a long time thinking about what that would look like, and had a lot of fear, right? Like, how am I going to do this? What's it going to look like? How's it going to feel? How am I going to have this conversation, but ultimately, it just became a process where the relationship started to become unmanageable. And we started to talk about it. Sometimes civilly, sometimes not about the idea that this is not working, because I was looking for my partner to change. And certainly she wanted different things from me. And it just kind of reached an impasse. Um, what would I have done differently? You know, honestly, I'm not sure I would have done anything differently. I mean, if I could go back to the beginning, I probably would have done things differently before we were even married in terms of why am I in this relationship, like, you know, what do I need to work on, but I never thought that way for the longest time. And once I got to that place in my life, it was almost like, I'll say it was irreparable because we had gone to couples counseling a couple of times, the first time was very effective, which was when I first came into recovery, we learned how to communicate, and this therapist was quite good. And then the second time we went, which was about a year before we decided to get divorced, it was sort of the beginning of the end, we just, we figured out in that process that this is like, irreparable, we can't do anything about it. So, um, you know, I don't know that I would have done much differently. It's just ran its course at least that's the way I the way I view it.

Curt Storring 12:52

Right? So it sounds to me like it was quite a mindful decision, especially after getting those tools on introspection and communication. When you were talking there, I was like, oh, communication keeps coming up. So can you give us like an overview of what you consider, like good communication in relationship nowadays?

Mike Huber 13:10

Yeah, I think for me, you know, I always starts with me, you know, I'm kind of at a place in my life, where I fully believe in taking no responsibility for my behavior and my, my side of the street, you know, so to speak. And so I always start to me, so think about what I can and should do as a communicator on my side. And to me, it's just about being honest, right. And that's a very simple principle that I live by is like, be honest, now, there's a fine line between being honest and respectful and being honest, and being, you know, offensive or hurtful. And that's something I that's all and I walk, you know, pretty, pretty young, gingerly, because I'm not always great at it. But I do believe in transparency. And so for me, if I'm communicating honestly, with somebody and sharing what I believe to be true, and sharing my feelings, I mean, there's, there's nothing I can do about the way they react to it. So for me, it's just about saying, Hey, this is where I'm at. This is what's bothering me, I know, maybe this is going to hurt but not doing it in a disrespectful way. And you know, whatever happens happens and the The divorce was definitely a big part of my getting comfortable with that, because there's so much fear about those conversations, like projecting onto like, well, what's going to happen or what she's going to say, or, and I got over that. And now when I have relationships with people, I'm just like, hey, this is what I'm looking for. This is what's important to me, and I understand if it's not important to you, but like you need to understand this so that we can make good choices because when you don't have all the information then you start to make bad choices and that kind of you know that that that becomes exponential and then you just can't can't get out of the hole sort of speak.

Curt Storring 14:50

Yeah, shining a light on all the assumptions and shadows of the other person could make his man so fundamental. And when you said like not caring about or not? I don't think it was not caring, just like not being afraid of what the other person's reaction might see. Was that an issue with you beforehand? Like, would you hold off? Because you're like, Oh, I can't deal with what they're going to say.

Mike Huber 15:10

100% Yeah, I mean, absolutely, you know, part of it is kind of me being, you know, embarrassed or ashamed to say something that I'm feeling because it's almost feel selfish, right? Like, I felt that way a lot. Like, I can't say this, because, like, they're gonna ridicule me, or it's gonna sound stupid. And a lot of the issues that I had in my relationship with my ex wife, or mine were, like I said, low self esteem, I didn't think enough of myself, to be honest. And so I would hold things back until I couldn't hold them back anymore. And then it was, you know, then it was the blow up. Right? Um, you know, now it's, it doesn't get to that point, at least not nearly as much. So, um, you know, for me, it's about just saying, hey, you know what, there's nothing I could do. Because I could say, The nicest thing in the world to you, Curt, and give you a compliment. And you could take it the wrong way. Right? I can't control that, right, how we perceive things is, is completely up to the individual. And so it's, for me, it's more about intent, you know, what's my intent and communicating this and, you know, if my intent is good, it's pure, and I'm being honest, and the other person doesn't like it. It's not my fault. You know, I'm not responsible for their feelings. And I think that that's the way I felt before you know, I call it codependent, whatever you want, like, I my feelings are wrapped up in somebody else's. And, you know, I don't want to hurt them, because then it was gonna be a reflection on me.

Curt Storring 16:32

Yeah, there's so many good points in there. And one of the things that I have been working on myself is just understanding that it's not my responsibility, how other people take me in, like, show up as your full self, and let other people make a judgement. And that's not a reflection on you. It's a reflection on them. It's like, oh, man, they've got experiences that lead them believe certain things about me, even if I'm the most perfect thing to them, like I, I'm not going to be authentic to myself, if I'm trying to please them, which feels terrible. And also, like, you can't do that you don't know what's in someone else's thing. And it's not a reflection on you. And when we don't have like you said, the self esteem, which again, often comes from childhood, feeling like we are enough, and we try to get the sense of feeling like we're enough from our relationships. And that's why all of this work that you do on yourself as a dad is like, it passes on to the next generation, like, Oh, I didn't realize I was hurting. As a kid. I didn't realize I was hurting now as an adult because of what I did as a kid. And it's like, pass that on to your kid now. That is, like, put it on to the next next. Yeah, the next level down.

Mike Huber 17:38

Yeah. Yeah, that's, and that was that that's been described to me as breaking the cycle. Right. And yeah, that is something that's really very important to me. And I was very resentful of my parents, you know, in terms of, you know, what they did, and I always felt like, I wasn't enough. And that's something that has come up a lot in, in my therapy, you know, like, you know, never good enough, everything is a struggle, like what's wrong with me, and, you know, and I always kind of held it against my parents. And then, at some point, I just, I made peace with it, and I forgave them. And they and I sort of said to myself, like, they're doing the best that they can with what they have, right the resources that they have at their disposal, because it was passed down to them. But now, as a father, I have the opportunity to not do it that way to make my kids feel like they're unconditionally loved. And that they're enough. And not, that's the only thing that matters. And I really work hard at that, for my children to believe that no matter what, I'm always going to be there to support them and love them, and whenever they choose to do is their choice, and it's not mine. And that's, that takes work to write because sometimes, you know, you see your, your kids out in the world, and you're like, Oh, I wish they would do this or do that. Or why did they do that? Or what's the what are these people going to think and like, ultimately, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that they know that they're taken care of, and they have somebody to come back to and if that's the case, they're going to be well adjusted human beings, which is really all I want for them.

Curt Storring 19:09

That's so good. That's such a fundamental layer of fatherhood. Just like being there for them as they show up. Man, it's so hard to Right. Like, I think about that going like Yeah, but I want to control. Like, if I'm not in control, I feel out of control, which is scary. Oh, man, especially getting into the teenage years. I can only imagine, I think back to what I was like as a teenager going like, wow, my parents exercised a lot of grades. And the the last point on the communication thing that I want to touch on just because it brought up to mind was that it's okay to have needs. And it's okay to express those needs. And I think where a lot of men get in trouble is they think that when they express their needs, they deserve to have the Met. And this is what I assumed to like, Okay, you want me to tell you what, well, here's what I want. Here's what I want, like the attention and whatever for my wife, and then it's like, I'm going to be upset. If you don't give it to me, but that's like, that's completely preposterous. So I have learned slowly to express my needs and state them so that like we talked about the beginning, I can just like speak my truth and that feels good. And if she's willing to meet me, then she can, but I don't expect that to be met. Is that something that you've explored it all?

Mike Huber 20:19

100%? Yeah, absolutely. You know, again, it kind of comes back to what we can and can't control, right. And we can Rican express our needs in a respectful way. That doesn't mean to your point, they're going to get met. But then we have a choice, right, which is sort of ties back to the divorce, right? Like I was asking to have certain needs met. My ex was unwilling to meet them for whatever reason, those are her reasons. And I don't fully understand them still to this day, and that's fine. And I maybe I never will, but then I have a choice to I stay right in this relationship that's unfulfilling and making me unhappy? Or do I take a risk and move into a life that's much more uncertain from a lot of different perspectives, right, a single father, joint custody 5050. Financially, I'm on my own, right. Like, there's a whole nother universe. But that's my choice. And every choice has a consequence. And that's the way I look at things now is like, okay, the information like I get back from people, now I have a choice, what am I going to do? You know, and then I have to live with it, and you go forward and live with it. And that's been the last three years of my life for four years of my life between the divorce and starting a business and all those things like, I understand that every choice I make has a consequence, and if things don't work out, well, now I have to make another choice. And that's on me. That's nobody else's responsibility.

Curt Storring 21:43

Yes. Oh, yeah, man preach that. I just want everyone.

Mike Huber 21:47

I really believe in that.

Curt Storring 21:49

Yeah, yeah, me too. And it's just like, it's personal responsibility, make your own choices. And I love you know, I I don't have like an opinion on divorce. Either way, like, I'm not one of those guys. It's like, I'll never do it. And also not like, you know, maybe it's for the best sometimes. And what I heard there was like, risk, you have to sometimes take a risk. Because if you don't, you would have been unhappy for who knows how long you would have suffered, your ex wife would have suffered, your kids probably would have suffered, and it took not knowing. I think that's a huge problem today is we only want to do things we know the outcomes to we are not willing to be wrong. Like we I was thinking today, you actually listen to a podcast, we even want to know how consciousness works. Scientists are studying where in the brain it goes, because we can't take not knowing. And so like when you bring that back to this basic level, like sometimes you can't know and that's part of being human. So I love that you took the risk, because that's what I felt I moved to Thailand with my kids for like two years. I was like, this is the riskiest thing I've done a long time. Yeah. But the lessons that we learned and the life that we live, just like, Oh, I could never have got that from not taking a risk. So yeah, I just love that man.

Mike Huber 23:00

Yeah, for me, and the thing that comes out of that, and the word hasn't come up yet is faith, right? Having a faith having faith in something, right, that no matter what happens, things are gonna work out, you know, and that doesn't mean they're gonna work out the way you want them to, it means they're gonna work out. Right? And I think you're right, there is this element of it. We live in a world where everybody wants to control every outcome. And when things don't go our way, people get very, very bent out of shape. And so they just live with the status quo. And quite honestly, I, you know, I'm just not willing to do that.

Curt Storring 23:31

Yeah, yeah, there are hard choices, you need to make sure able to live a life that other people will never because they won't make those choices. I want to talk about parenting as it relates to, you know, being divorced and co parenting now. So what were the sort of fundamentals or guardrails or conversations you had when it was like, Hey, this is going to happen? Getting a divorce? What were those conversations like? And like? What did you decide on how you parent together?

Mike Huber 24:01

Okay, so, first and foremost, the underlying principle and all of our communication about the children was they come first. And that has really served us well, because whatever disagreements my ex and I have about stuff, whether it's co parenting, or, you know, our, you know, post marital life, you know, together kind of having to deal with each other is always comes back to them. So if there was ever any disagreement or issue, it was always conducted behind the scenes, because it was this is going to be with their best interests at heart. And I would say 95% of the time, we're on the same page, right, as it relates to them. We work it out. And we always had very similar parenting philosophies, at least sort of, you know, in general, and so that's helped us a lot. I think there's some things on the margin that we disagree with, disagree on, but um, but the separation has actually worked out For the best, because we can run our own houses households the way we want to. And so on those day to day choices were very different. But in terms of the big picture, we're very similar. So co parenting is is pretty amicable, um, you know, and we have to, because we're 5050, we agreed on that right up front. And to her credit, you know, I said, I want 50% custody of the children. And she said, I wouldn't have it any other way. And so that, that was a really big step. And I think that was, you know, that was probably the greatest validation I've gotten in my marriage. And that was on the way out the door, which was to say, Hey, she trusted me enough to know that these kids are safe with me when she's not around. And I think that was the the biggest endorsement I've gotten from her, frankly. And in our relationship, I was always a good dad, my kids, I mean, really, genuinely, and I, we have a genuine relationship. And she knows that. And if she tried to keep them away from me for more than you know, what was legally allowed, I think she couldn't have, she couldn't have lived with herself. So by and large, things are really good because we share the same sort of underlying core values about how to how to raise them.

Curt Storring 26:07

Okay, and were there like, sit down conversation specifically about this as you're finalizing divorce? Like, here's how it's going to look like, here's when we communicate, when these things come up, here's how we're going to deal with them. Like where they're almost like a contract, I guess, like if you're going into a business partnership, you'd have these like, worst case scenario, plans. Were there things like that baked in so that you know that you know, we're gonna meet up and deal with this when they're like 15. And this is happening, anything like that?

Mike Huber 26:36

Well, the divorce agreement itself lines lays out a lot of that. Right. So there's very specific guidelines about all the things you might imagine how communications are supposed to go down. Visitation when this happens. This is this is what happens when they turn 18 Or when they turn 21. And call I mean, it is very, I mean, it's not detailed in terms of like, anticipating scenarios, but they're very clear guidelines, which really does help. There have been a couple of instances where there have been differing interpretations of particular provisions of the agreement, particularly during COVID. There is definitely some disagreement about who was doing what, where, where are you going, and that none of that was addressed. So that was got a little bit dicey at times, because we both wanted to live our own lives, but we had differing opinions about how to do that, you know, sort of safely. But otherwise, it's pretty much laid out. And again, you know, when it comes back to making choices and decisions on behalf of the children, it really again, comes back to what's best for them. And not, that's always that spirit of the agreement has always sort of led us back to what I feel like are good choices and mutually agreed upon choices between us, where there's not a lot of resentment or disagreement. And that's been great. That makes my life so much easier.

Curt Storring 27:57

Yeah, okay, that's perfect, then. So the idea of just putting your kids first, and I haven't read this book, but I saw a book titled, love your kids more than you hate your ex, something like that. And like, I went, like, I wonder if that sounds true. Like, I don't know, what do you think about that? That

Mike Huber 28:15

sounds 100%. True. Okay. I think if I wrote a book about divorce, it might be that it's true. And I don't, and I don't, you know, I don't have any ill will toward my acts. I just don't I mean, there, there have been situations where I've been really frustrated with her, but I know she's a good person. And I know, she's a good mother. She takes care of my children. And frankly, she took care, you know, of a big part of my life when we were together, and I want her to be happy. So I definitely don't, I don't have any ill will towards her. And it was mutual, you know, so for me, it is it's absolutely right, if I'm negatively affecting my kids, because of my behavior towards my axe, like, it's not, it's not right, it's not fair, they're putting in the middle of something that's really difficult to begin with. And so, if you're making, if you're making them the center of the, you know, the putting them in the center of the argument, you know, on an ongoing basis, just gonna create a lot of a lot of damage, you know, emotional damage, and we don't want to do that. And, you know, when when my kids, you know, try to, you know, pit us against one another every now and then, you know, I take her side, no matter what, even if I don't, I don't agree, because I'm not going to sit there and tell my kid like, Oh, your mom's wrong, like, oh, no, this is what your mother said. And this is what goes I can live with it. And I'll talk to her on the side if I have a problem. Right, which is what we do, you know, Oh, I heard this like, what's going on versus like contradicting her? To my kids? It's just not it's confusing.

Curt Storring 29:47

Yeah, absolutely. And do you ever talk to your kids about like the the impacts that this can have on them and like, I don't know the statistics in terms of older kids, like my parents got divorced. I was three, and like that's had a lasting impact on me. And I just wonder like, do you consciously have discussions with them, which is like this might hurt. This might be like, you know, trauma potentially. Here's some tools to like, think about this. Of course, we always love you. And, and maybe that's just it, maybe it's just like, they know, like you said before that they that you love them unconditionally, but like to those conversations ever come up?

Mike Huber 30:23

They do. Not frequently, because I do, I personally believe that if I continue to show them that unconditional love across the board all the time that things will tend to work themselves out. But there are definitely times that things come up, especially for my daughter's my younger one. She's very perceptive, and she's very, you know, tuned into her feelings and she'll bring stuff up, you know, like she'll mentioned, like, why can't you get back together? Or, you know, listen, my kids have been exposed to be dating some. And, you know, when they asked me a bunch of questions about that, like, I'm very honest about it. And I think that's the way I handle it is to be very honest and respectful to them to say, Hey, this is just the reality of the situation. I know, it stinks, I know, you're uncomfortable. But I'm not dating because I want to replace your mother I'm dating because I want to be happy. And you know, whether or not they fully understand that, I don't know. But they get it at some level. And I think that just being that honest, you know, being honest with them goes a long way, even if it's confusing. And I think that's goes back to something you were saying before about always wanting to control part of that wanting to control as a parent is wanting to make sure that their feelings are not hurt. But you can't control that either. They're their kids. They're just like adults, they have feelings, they have their own thoughts. And by telling them and feelings don't matter, or that they're invalid, because you want them to be okay. Like, that's even worse than just letting them feel the feelings and move on. You know, that's the bus lesson I could probably teach him is like, hey, not everything's gonna feel good here. You know what you just got to you got to work through it, and I'm here for you. But I can't make you feel better. You can make you feel better.

Curt Storring 32:03

Dang, man that just like that landed with me. So thank you. That's a that's a fantastic lesson. I've never actually consciously thought of emotional control. Because yeah, you're right. Like, I don't want anything bad to happen to them. And I'm gonna do my best. But then you get into this, like, overprotective, overbearing, and like, they're gonna have to break out of that. And it's probably not gonna be pretty if it's so overbearing. So yeah, thank you for imparting that man. The last sort of thing on parenting, probably, we might come back to it. Just if anything's like changed. As you approach teenage years, I think you said your son was like, 13. Is there anything you're doing? Now? That's different?

Mike Huber 32:43

That's a really good question. I'm not really, um, if anything, I think I've probably, I've probably, I've tried to be, I wouldn't say I'm consistent. But I've tried to be a little bit stricter, to be honest with that with you, because I feel like now, especially him, he's in more of a position to he's mature enough. And his cognitive development is enough that I can be strict with him and have and he will listen and understand why I'm doing it versus the younger ones still get sort of like, why are you being mean to me, you know, he understands and I'm not being mean to him, I'm trying to help him by giving direction. And there are some habits that he has, frankly, as a 13 year old that, you know, I don't love you know, as it relates to electronics, and, you know, all these different things, but at the same time, like I'm partly responsible for that, too. And so there's also this balance of like, letting him do what he wants to do within reason, because I don't want to be the one to tell him everything you can and should do, but at the same time, also setting boundaries for him because he's still 13. And he needs some guidance in his life. So I would say I'm becoming a little bit stricter with him. But But by and large, no, I think it's to me, it's just show up for them wake up, make sure that they understand that I love them, and, you know, be there for them as much as I can be. And also like, having them and maybe this is on the flip side, like, you know, I'm getting more comfortable. One leaving them on their own at certain instances. Because I can and I feel safe doing so. But also like just being like, hey, you know what, I'm going to go out tonight, and I know I'm going to leave you with somebody, you know, your mother or your grandparents or whoever. So I can go out and do something tonight if I want to. And I think that that's I think it was a bit of a challenge in the beginning. Like I feel guilty that I'm gonna go out and do these things. But I would say overall, no, the parent thing hasn't changed yet. My son's not into, you know, romantic issues, you know, like, he's not like not there yet. So that we have a little bit of ways to go hopefully. But um, it's been good. I mean, I'm blessed. My kids are my kids are awesome.

Curt Storring 34:50

Amazing. Yeah, that reminds me of just like almost an added layer of challenge to him, in a sense like, you know, here's this free wheeling you do whatever you want and then the strictness, you know, that can be a huge issue. Obviously, we're just like, no my way or the highway, and kids resent that a lot of the time. But if it's like, I'm doing this as a challenge to you, because young boys need challenge, I think that's actually an interesting way to frame it as well. I thank you for sharing all of that man. Like, this is just I think we're probably going to go even deeper now. But this is just this is great. I want to talk about addiction. And I mean, we'll have questions after this. But could you just walk us through? Like, what was your addiction? How did it get started? And unlike, what were the consequences of that, and sort of just the story?

Mike Huber 35:39

Well, the story goes back quite a way. So I started gambling, when I was in childhood, I was exposed to at a really young age, I grew up in a family where gambling was fairly normal, big part of social life, family life with friends, probably started around 12, you know, the first time I made a bet. And I progressed through high school, I gambled through high school, probably, for most of it, playing card games with friends, you know, with my buddies, but always had difficulty controlling myself in terms of the amount of money that I would lose, and owing people money and getting, you know, bent out of shape and angry about things that were happening, and, you know, obsessing and ruminating about it, when I wasn't gambling. And then when I went off to college is really the first time in my life where I realized that I had a problem, or at least vocalized that I was spending a lot of time at casinos on weekends in college with, with a friend of mine, who we go together and I lost again, continue to lose a lot of money that I didn't have growing up credit cards and things and it just became, you know, a very big part of my life socially, emotionally. You know, looking back on it now, even then it was an escape from reality. For me, it was a way to sort of not think about what what's going on in my life and feeling my feelings and all those things. And it progressed all the way through adulthood. So when my first child was born, I was 3333. And I've made a conscious choice to gamble every single day on sports. So at that point, to go back to sort of some of the things I was talking about before, like, there was this really, this really deep sense of loss, you know, like a grieving about the loss of my life as a single man, I think, you know, I thought at the time, I had no idea, right, but looking back on it, that's the way I see it is like, well, now I'm a dad, I'm responsible for somebody else. I'm not gonna have much of a social life, like everything revolves around this other human. I never was resentful of my children in that way. But I think I did resent the fact that, you know, I wasn't ready emotionally to be a father, even though I wanted to be one. And so the gambling was just a way for me at night, once the baby was asleep, to kind of entertain myself, you know, watch, watch sports, I have a reason to watch sports, I was always into sports. But then it became sort of like this obsession, I grew and grew and grew. So I, I ended up gambling every single day for about four years straight, which was an immense burden. Financially, it was an immense burden, emotionally, physically, I like went through, you know, physical symptoms, and some things I could talk about that, but um, it just consumed my life. And at first, it was sort of a way out to kind of just entertain myself, but it came became my first thought every morning and my last thought every night. And, you know, I would say that it didn't necessarily impact my ability to be a competent father, although I definitely had my moments where I was checked out, and I probably could have done a better job, but I was always putting them first. But the relationship with my ex wife really, really suffered. And it just became sort of this downward spiral to the point where when I decided to stop, because I did, it wasn't like I was caught or forced or anything like that, I made a choice. I had started having panic attacks, that was sort of the first sign that I can't sustain the lying and the secret, the secret holding, you know, I was kind of keeping all the stuff to myself, I was taking money that didn't really belong to me or from us that she didn't know about, and I was facilitating that habit. And I just couldn't live with myself anymore. And so I started to break down and eventually came clean to her. And that was in July of 2012. So a little over nine years ago.

Curt Storring 39:41

Wow, man, thank you for sharing that. The I have a number of questions sort of maybe in a in a timeline sense. I'll try and get there but like, what was what was it when you were like really young, that this feeling of like excitement was keeping Then you from because, like you said, it was just a family thing. And it's like, this is what you do, it's very easy to go there. But was there an underlying feeling from the start that you were like numbing from? Or like, what was the emotional behavior like underneath that addiction to start with?

Mike Huber 40:17

Sure. Um, I mean, let me just say, two, I grew up in a house household of addiction. And so that was a big part of it, there was a lot of stress at a very young age, I grew up, you know, so to speak, grew up really fast, sooner than I needed to. And I think it was just a way for me to escape from that circumstance, and the feelings I had about myself, you know, just not being good enough. And having very low self esteem, and, you know, the gambling, it kind of served a number of masters, I think, one was, it kind of, it gave me a sense of control. Um, I think, I think also, it gave me an opportunity to spend some time with my father and other other female family members who were into it, it was sort of like a bonding experience. Yeah, something to talk about something to do together. Um, and I, and I think just, you know, I loved sports. And that was a big part of it. And the idea of being able to sort of engage in that and be the idea that I wanted to write, I like the idea of like, making these guesses if you will, well, and, you know, getting the feeling that I was sort of like, you know, I knew more than the other person. So there's a lot, a lot to it. But ultimately, at the end of the day, it was just, it was escape from reality, it took my mind off of my problems and put them into some other kind of artificial universe that really had nothing to do with me, but I made it a part of my life.

Curt Storring 41:52

Right? And how did you know it was an addiction, like you said, as you went into college or whatever, like, it started to become a problem. And but then it took a while to do anything about it. So what was the point where you're like, Man, this is not just something I do on the weekend, but like, this is an actual addiction.

Mike Huber 42:10

Yeah, I think at various times, it was always the idea that I just couldn't stop myself, like, you know, like, literally, like, I could not pull myself away from it, unless it was like, ripped out of my hands. And, you know, also that feeling of like, you know, when I was in college, I came home one morning, because I had been out all night at a casino. And I remember, remember the details, let's just say it was like, when I came home, and I had lost way more than I could afford. And I remember just breaking down and saying, like, I remember the first time I've ever said to myself out loud, like I need to get help. I think I'm even told a friend of mine. And because it was like, I knew you know that you shouldn't be doing this, you know, you can afford it, you know that it's a stupid idea. And you still do it anyway. Because like, there's this compulsion to just try to win your money back. And, you know, and, and I think you just sort of lose your, I mean, I lost my emotional steam at points. But then, because I feel like I'm so resilient, because some of the experiences I had in my childhood, where you're always sort of bounced back from things. And in that particular instance, I just dusted myself off and said, Hey, how do I figure out how to solve this problem? And I did. I mean, I found a way. Always very resilient, resourceful, and you figure it out. But ultimately, you know, I got to the point where, like, could I have figured out my problem at 37? When I came clean? Yeah, probably. But at the same time, I don't want to anymore, like the desire to do it wasn't there, I was, like, I don't want to live my life like this anymore. And it just took a long time to get to that point where I was just gonna throw my hands up and say, like, I give up, you know, because I before that I wasn't willing to give up anything, because that would show weakness even though the behavior is inherently weak.

Curt Storring 43:54

Right? Okay. There's two last questions on addiction because I want to get to the work you do with kids. So the last couple questions are, how did you like, get the courage to come clean to your wife? Because I can only imagine if there's someone who's like, oh, man, like, I gotta face what I'm dealing with right now. But I could never get clean with my wife because like, all these questions are not good enough. They're gonna judge me blah, blah, blah. Like, how did you build up the courage? And then what's like the, the Coles notes to recovery, just to give guys an idea of like, where they might look for resources. Great questions.

Mike Huber 44:29

So I think the courage came when I first started in therapy because that was the first time in my life where I started to openly speak with somebody about my feelings. I had never done anything like that before. And I think once I opened the door there, it started to like see the way for coming clean. But the way it really happened was so we were going on a family vacation at the end of July in 2020. And I had been I'm having these panic attacks, I was really not in a good place. And I was sort of just out of it still even like a month, month and a half after I had the first one I just was really like in a daze almost. And I just remember thinking to myself, like, why am I doing this to myself, like, I don't want to ruin another family vacation because I had, I had ruined vacations before that, you know, in previous summers, because I was too busy gambling, I didn't want to be there, I was going to check it out. So it's like, I don't want to ruin the vacation. So I'm not I said to myself, I'm not going to gamble this week. And for the most part, that was true, I held hold myself to that standard. And it was a great week, I wasn't preoccupied, I wasn't, you know, disappearing. I wasn't like angry, none of those things. It was really, really very pleasant. And during the week, I was reading this book that my therapist gave me about being the child of an alcoholic. And it was like, it really like opened my eyes because it was like the first time in my life where I started to understand that it wasn't my fault. That yeah, my father was the way he was. And it really took the burden off for me to say like, Hey, you, this is not, you know, you were just sort of born into this. And you know, in some ways understates your destiny. But in some ways, you're sort of just you learn that behavior. And that's what you end up becoming. And that's exactly what happened. And I was like, Oh, wow, like, this is my fault. And as I was reading that book, like, I started to feel better and better about myself. But then I also started to feel this really intense guilt of like, Oh, my goodness, like, what have I done? What have I been doing, and I can't really live with myself, like, I could easily have not said anything to her and kept going. But like, I just was like, so just so unhappy with myself. And I had so much guilt, I was like, I have to come clean. And I did. And I knew that that risk I was taking because it was a really big risk. could mean that that was going to be the end of my marriage at that point. But I had lived with so much for so long, like I just couldn't keep it in whether that was the right decision or not, I don't know. But I did. And it was rough. I'm Israel for a while, you know, we didn't, we stayed together for a long time after that. But it was a tough go getting through that. And I went to my first I went to gamblers anonymous, that's been sort of my path to recovery. And I've been in there for over nine years continue to go participate in meetings and, you know, make that I try to make that a big part of my life. Because it's helped me and that's where I got first got help from other people. And that's what inspired me to do what I do now, which is to try to help other people with, you know, with their lives,

Curt Storring 47:39

man. Yeah, thank you. I feel like there's this whole conversation that could go on in recovery. Like is that the STEP program that you went through them, Korea, and that's, that is the thing, basically, that did it with you is like this coming moment where it's like, Hey, I have to get clean with myself and my wife, and then find help. And it was like in that recovery program is where it all happened.

Mike Huber 48:01

Correct. And so it's so I'll take you through that a little bit. Because I think it's interesting and important. And it's important for me to reflect on it. So when I, I went to the first I went to my first meeting, the day after I came clean to my ex wife, because wow, I had to, in my mind, I had to validate for her that I was serious about this and that it wasn't just lip service. And so I went to this meeting, I remember I was living in Brooklyn, New York at the time, and I went to this meeting I'd never been I showed up early. And I was there really, really early and I help the guy that was there set up the chairs and the tables. And you know, a big part of any 12 STEP program is, you know, being of service and the idea that I would just show up early and help this guy put the chairs out and set up the books and all these things. I was like, wow, that felt really good. Like, I haven't done that in so long, you know, trying to help somebody else. And then I sat and listened. And I realized, like, everybody here is just like me, and it was like the first time in my life where I felt like, oh, wow, like, I'm, this is where I belong now. Because these people are just like me and I, I need to figure out how to get to where they're at, because they're not most of them are not gambling anymore. And so then I just follow the path, you know, one from one meeting a week to two meetings a week to three meetings a week in the beginning, and I did everything that was asked of me. And, you know, I learned there that, you know, I need to anticipate the consequences of my actions and that, you know, my choices matter and that, you know, I can put up roadblocks in my life. And, you know, I started to get honest with myself and take responsibility and that. I mean, that's been the greatest gift that I've gotten out of it is like what we're saying the beginning is like to tell your story, like openly to other people without the fear of judgment or without the fear of retribution or without the fear of, you know, embarrassment is like one of the greatest gifts I've ever had like to sit here and talk about this. I would never would have fathom that 10 years ago, like Yeah, and tell somebody, you know, like I had a problem. I was an addict and I couldn't control myself and I took money from here and I did this to my ex wife and my kids and they It's just life. I did it. And it's my story. And there's nothing I can do. I can't take it back. So what do you do with it? You hide it or you share it so people can get something good out of

Curt Storring 50:08

it. 100% man, and you said it's been nine years now? Yeah, over nine years, man. Congratulations, man. That is tough, hard work. So inspiring, man, like, holy smokes. Yeah, I Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for this whole thing. And I want to dive in now, the last 10 minutes we've got with what you do now, because that was super interesting to me. It's like helping young athletes like Oh, sweet. Okay, so can you just walk us through quickly what that is? And then I'd love to know, like, what kind of stuff we as dads can take from what you do and implement in our case in our kids lives. So yeah, what is it that you actually do?

Mike Huber 50:44

Okay, so, I am a certified mental performance consultant. So that's in the field of sports psychology. I have a master's degree in sports psychology, which I, I obtained about a in March of 2020. So actually, I had, this is my second career. I always knew that I wanted to do something in sports, but I never had the courage to do it. That was part of my issue, I think for a very long time is that I resented that I was doing something that I didn't want to do. But through recovery, I really came to believe that helping others was something that was really important to me. Because of the feeling I get from it, it makes me feel like a better person and makes me feel like I'm giving something back. And in turn, I get something. And I wanted to have a life like that. So I was like, Well, what can I do that puts those two things together? And, you know, I didn't know what the answer was. At first, I just knew I wanted to pursue another career. And after some research and some work, and I got some advice from from the outside, some coaching, I had some career coaching, I came to this conclusion that I want to do this. So I went back to school I I quit my first career, which I'd been in for almost 20 years and went back to school started over which is very difficult, but some strain on my marriage. I wouldn't say it's the reason why we're divorced. But I would definitely say that didn't help. And but now my practice is I work with young athletes anywhere from the age of nine, believe it or not, all the way up to the age of 21. I work with them mostly on a one on one basis, although that can vary. And I work with them on their mental skills, you know, what are the things that we can do from a mental perspective to make ourselves better performers, but also better people? Right? And it does certainly tie in to parenting quite a bit for a lot of reasons.

Curt Storring 52:32

Wow. Okay, that is so cool. And I love that this exists. And my first thought is like, I wonder if parents use this to like be slave drivers to their kids to like, make sure they get into like the best schools and programs. So that's like a little judgment that I have. And I don't know if that's true, maybe you can speak to that.

Mike Huber 52:47

That's a great No, no, I love that. Because it's something that I've been observing, you know, I see, like, I look to see, or at least try to look under the surface to see like, what are the motivations of the parent. And I think there's some element of, hey, I want my kid to be a really great athlete. And maybe it's going to help them get a scholarship. But what I find for most parents is and this, and maybe this is a selection bias, because the parents that hire me, or bring me on to help their kids are really just, they're more open minded. But I think parents just want their kids to have all the resources at their disposal to not only succeed athletically, but also to have life skills. And a lot of what I do is it kind of crosses over into the classroom and to social world and to, right, we're teaching, I'm teaching them life skills, about how to deal with adversity, how to deal with things that I can't control, how to, you know, keep the focus on themselves, versus worrying about what goes on around them. And sports just happens to be a big part of their lives. But it's just one lens is to, you know, to sort of communicate through and educate through. So it's, it's, it's just a lot of fun. I love doing it. I think, you know, parents get a bad rap. And I have the same bias. And I'm a parent, I tend to look at people and go like, why are they doing this? Like, do they really need to do it. But what I found, you know, what I've learned, you know, is, you know, when when I have a preconceived notion about working with somebody, particularly someone on the younger side, actually, it's the best time to start, because they're blank slates. And what happens to high school kids is they develop a way of thinking, that can be very counterproductive, right? They become very outcome oriented, they become very fixed minded, if you want to call it that, where they're like I can, I'm good at this. And I'm not good at this. And they don't look at it as, hey, I can get better at this or I really love this, let me get better. And so when you get them younger, you could start to build a foundation for like, Hey, if you love this, do it, you're going to get better. You can't control all these other things. Just focus on yourself. And that having that ability to build that foundation in them is is huge. And I love that. But I love working with all young people. It's just, there's just a lot of hope in it. And I think I do a pretty good job of connecting to them.

Curt Storring 55:05

Yeah. So as you're saying that I'm like, okay, these are the things that you do with them that everyone else goes like, Oh, why don't they teach this in school? Resiliency, hard work mental fortitude, like practices to keep them grounded, all this kind of stuff. Like, as you're saying this and going, like, I want this for my kids, you know, something outside of me. And maybe that's a point we'll touch on too. How important is it for kids to have a mentor or a coach outside of the parents?

Mike Huber 55:30

I think I've learned that it's huge. Now, based on doing what I do, because I what I've seen in my mind's a few years I've been doing this with with young people is, I think the, you know, this is a parent, right? If you if you tell your child something, that their initial reaction A lot of times is to, like, just blow you off or be like, they they take it as the way I explained it to parents is like, if you are critical of their athletic performance, all they hear is that you don't love me, right? Like, and it's so exaggerated, but it's the truth, right? Like, on your son on your daughter, like, I don't want to hear from you that I should have done this on the field. Or why did you do that? Or no, what they want is you to put their arm around them, and say, hey, great, great job, I love watching you play, let's go get ice cream. Right. And that's not always the easiest thing to do. But when someone else says it, who doesn't have a vested interest in it like me, like, it doesn't matter for them. I'm not, they're not coming home to me at night, they don't looking for my love. They're not looking for my attention. But I am helping them. And I'm doing it in a non judgmental mental way. And I'm showing them respect. And so they gravitate to that because like, this person really cares about me, and he has no reason to care about me, other than to say that maybe my parents are paying him but to me, it's to them. It's It's true. It's genuine, right? They don't, they don't care if this guy cares about me. Like, that's all I care about. So it does go a long way. And parents are getting smarter about that think parents realize, like, Hey, I can't be everything to my kids, especially in the athletic realm, because there's so much emotion tied up in it, right, and they're not gonna listen to me, or they're trying to please me, even if the parents think they're doing all the right things, the kids are still thinking that they have to please the parents. And that's really, really difficult and challenging.

Curt Storring 57:13

Yeah, I just remembered my first year playing hockey, there was a kid on the team and he'd you know, fall down once in a while because he'd be running. And we were like six or seven. And I could just hear every time is on the on the ice, his mom yelling, Get up, Shane, get up. And I'm just going like, Oh my God, come to the bench crying kids. And that's like, Oh my goodness. And so I love the reframe of going like, Look, you as a parent, tell them you're doing a good job, support them, love them, and let the coach do the work of like, here's what I saw, here's how you can get better.

Mike Huber 57:44

Right? And you raise a really good point about coaches, right? Even if we disagree with coaches, and how they approach things, the philosophies, how they handle kids, if they're not in danger, then that's just part of life, right, we're all gonna have a boss, we're all gonna have a teacher, we're all gonna have somebody that we work with, that we don't like. And we don't like the way they do things. And that's the way I approach it as a dad, like, I don't love what this coach is doing. But you know what, I'm not coaching, right? So my kids, not in harm's way, this guy's just not very good. But he's doing it. And my kids gonna have to learn how to deal with it, you're not playing and you don't like it. And I tell all kids, it's my own kids. And I tell the kids I work with, you can have a conversation with your coach. If you don't like your role on the team, or you don't like the way you're being spoken to, or whatever it is, you can go talk to them. Now, I'm not saying that's easy. But I'm saying you have a choice. So how is it? How important is it to you to play more or to play here or play there or do this, if it's important, then you need to figure out a way to have that conversation. Because otherwise, who's going to do it for you the adult? Well, that's not going to really help you. And that's really hard. But but I'm a big advocate of that, like, Hey, you just got to figure it out. And and then my job is to give them the tools to do that. And I try really hard to help them think about the options and how they might do that. And, you know, get put them in a better position to succeed in life.

Curt Storring 59:09

Yeah. And one quick comment before the final question here is that, like I talk on this podcast, a lot about sort of village and the way that it used to be, so to speak in the olden days, and I don't want to go back the old days, I don't want to be myself. But what I do think is important is community and village because like for the vast majority of humanity, we would have grown up as children with our parents in like a tribe or village or whatever you want to call it. And there would have been other people around we wouldn't have had to just listen to our parents and the way we live now. It's like our parents are supposed to be everything for us. And we as parents take on this massive role of everyone in the community and there's That's so silly. And so to bring coaches into it, I think is vital, whether it's coaches or performance trainers or like even grandparents like bring some What else into your kids lives? So I love that you're doing this work? Yeah, sounds extremely important.

Mike Huber 1:00:05

You again, you raise a great point there. And it's something that I think about a lot, because 50 years ago in our country, right, most families were one income families and dad went to work, and mom stayed home. And the emphasis on money, and the need for money, and the importance of money was a lot different. Now, today, we have most families are to multiple working families, we have divorced families. So if you have two parents are working, and they're working hard to pay all the bills and do everything. And then on the weekend, you know, they see their kids and like, I think there's just this inherent guilt, and a lot of us as parents, like, we have to, like, make sure our kids have everything, and we feel bad that we're not always there for them. So when we are there from them, we're always trying to overcompensate, and we have to do more. Right, we have to do more, and it's not about them, it's about us, they're gonna be okay. Right. It's about us making ourselves feel like we have a purpose as a parent, like, if I don't have control, if I'm not, you know, if I'm not giving them advice, I'm not like, you know, it's like you don't have to write you don't have to be everything. And the kids can actually figure some of this stuff out on their own. In fact, they want to kids want to solve their own problems, they want to have autonomy, they want to feel like they're competent enough to go out and make a choice. And even if it's the wrong choice, they figure it out. And they want to be able to do that. And I think the worst thing that anybody could do to kids is to not let them make some mistakes. Because then it's you setting yourself up for a life of failure, because every mistake is going to be under the magnifying glass. And perfectionism is rampant. Dude, when I tell you it's so much is rampant with every kid that I work with, at some level, there's a fear of making a mistake, there's a fear of doing something wrong. You know, they get a lot of anxiety, especially as it relates to sports. And you know, adults are doing that, you know, adults have a big role in that some of it's human nature, right? Our brains are programmed that way, great. But parents are exacerbating it. Coaches are exacerbating it. The money we spend on sports is exacerbating the kids don't know that it costs 1000s and 1000s, and 1000s of dollars to play sports and traveling three hours on a week, right? All these things add up to a kid who feels the pressure of if I don't perform, I'm letting somebody down. And it's really, really challenging to watch. And so having people who can normalize that, or at least sort of put a dent in that thinking goes a long way to sort of taking some of the edge off of what can be some really significant long term consequences for development.

Curt Storring 1:02:41

Yeah, that is all gold man. And the last thing I want, if you've got like two extra minutes, I do like Nick Irwin, can you give us like a few basic practices that you share with kids? Just to get them more thoughtful, resilient, confident, like, what are some of the things you actually do with these kids?

Mike Huber 1:02:58

Excellent. So, um, first and foremost, I mean, it's all age dependent, I would say, but by and large, with my teenagers, I make them all try meditation as a first step, okay. And the reason why I do that is because I want them to heighten their awareness of what's going on inside of themselves. And mindfulness meditation does that right? What am I thinking? Okay, I'm thinking that what does it mean? It doesn't mean anything. It's just a thought, let it go. Right? The more heightened their awareness is, the more ammunition they have to make changes. And that always comes into sport context of like, what am I thinking when I make a mistake on the basketball court? Okay, now I know what I'm doing. I'm beating myself up in my head. Let's get away from that. So meditations, number a number one, and a lot of them really do like it, I was a little reluctant because I was like, well, they're going to be able to do this. But they like it. I like they say I like to relax. They say it helps me I'm starting to understand things a little bit better. I kind of have a better handle on my thoughts. So that's definitely one. Goal setting is something I do pretty standard in terms of okay, like, I want to be this. I want to get to some level of sport. Okay, that's awesome. Well, what are you going to do on a consistent basis that aligns with that every single day, and having process oriented goals where I say, I did this every day. And just by checking the box, by virtue of doing it, I'm building my confidence to say like, I can be consistent in my routine, I'm actually putting in the work. Maybe I'm not where I want to be yet. But everything I do is aligned. So we work on that quite a bit. And then I work on a lot, something I use a lot with athletes, and it's in sport context, as well as something I call reset routine, which is basically like when you're having those negative thoughts or you're having those negative emotions and you're sort of in a bad place. How do I get myself back into the present moment? So some of it's mindfulness, right, being mindful of what I'm thinking and feeling, but then saying, Okay, what's my strategy to get out of that? I'm having negative thoughts. Okay. I take a deep breath, kind of reset myself. refocus, I have some sort of phrase that I use, I visualize something, I look at something that reminds me, I have to be where my feet are. And I go again. And I say, you're never going to get your mind. You're never going to stop your mind from being distracted. Right? It just happens. We can't control it. But what you can do is when you get that thought, and you see it, and you recognize it, what am I doing with it? Am I latching on to it? And, and, and, and wandering around in a transfer next five minutes and not paying attention to what I'm supposed to be doing? Or am I'm like, Hey, I got to get out of this. This is how I'm going to do it. And that applies, right, you can apply that in the classroom, right? Your mind wanders off, you're thinking about, you know, going, you know, going to the amusement park this weekend, but you're supposed to be paying attention to the geometry feature, oh, I catch myself, okay. Like, hey, go, go do your math, right. It's the same idea. But the routine of it, the constant consistent practice and execution of it is what makes it second second nature. So that we're just getting to a place where when we catch ourselves wandering off, we're right back into the moment where we want to be and we're not wasting time. So that's something I deal with them a lot. And I, I swear by that, I think it's something that I do myself, and so it tends to work really well.

Curt Storring 1:06:09

Amazing. Thank you for giving us those. And do you work with only local kids? Or do you work online?

Mike Huber 1:06:15

No. COVID has has expanded in my practice, I thought that it would all be in person, you know, when I can see this because it's just the person, the person business and then COVID happening, everything is remote. has been for the last year and a half. I do have a couple of clients that have requested to see me in person. So those of you those people are local, obviously. But I work with people everywhere. So I've had clients in California. I've had clients and you know, I live in the New York City area. I have clients here, there and everywhere. And our practice has been growing. So think thank goodness for that.

Curt Storring 1:06:48

Yeah. Okay, so where can people find you then? Sure, you can find

Mike Huber 1:06:51

me, um, my website is Michael vias and Vincent Huber. H UB, er, comm is my website. And you can find me at that same Michael V. Huber at Instagram is also where I post a lot of my my content.

Curt Storring 1:07:04

Amazing. Okay, any last thoughts, words, links that you want to drop in here? This has been fantastic, man.

Mike Huber 1:07:11

No, I'll just say thank you for having me. I love these conversations. I think they're really important for fathers because I think there needs to be more places for dads to go to to know that it's okay to struggle and that we're all going through some of the same stuff. So it's just a privilege to be able to talk to you here today. And I appreciate you having me. Come on.

Curt Storring 1:07:29

Yeah, absolutely. This went so well. I am absolutely pumped and really, really appreciate you diving so deeply. So Mike Huber, thank you for being on the Dad.Work podcast.

Mike Huber 1:07:38

Thank you Curt I appreciate it.

Curt Storring 1:07:46

That's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. It means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today, including Show Notes resources and links to subscribe leave a review work with us go to dad dot work slash pod. That's Type that into your browser just like a normal URL, Dad dot work slash pod. You'll find everything there. You need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next time.

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