Showing up on a daily basis with 100% focus on each individual rep and set as a step toward an end goal…that is the hardest thing to master in sports. Too often athletes are worried about social media, what are their friends doing, what prom am I going to attend, what do I have to do at work tonight? All of these thoughts can have a negative impact on a training session. Focusing with 100% of your energy on the task at hand and understanding what each task will do long term and short term is by far the hardest thing in sports. When an athlete can be motivated and comprehend long-term commitment, coupled with ABSOLUTE FOCUS, that is when you know you have a great athlete.
When coaches say, “he is a great athlete but he doesn’t have it up top (pointing to their head).” That is a false statement. He isn’t a great athlete! He has great physical ability but he does not have what it takes to be a great athlete. The mental side is just as important as the physical side. As a coach, it is important to find different tools that can improve urgency and improve competitive mental acuity. Create competitive and positive environments, test the athlete about what they are feeling and let the athlete know that you value their feedback. When the coach values athlete feedback, the athlete in turn learns more about themselves in general! This helps the individual grow and it also helps the coach tailor the training toward the athlete’s needs. It also forces the athlete to be more accountable for their actions during training.
What are you thinking of while training? What are you focused on while working technical aspects of the sport? What do you feel and notice today that you may not have noticed prior to this training session? These are all important questions that will hold an athlete more accountable and grow the athlete/coach relationship to a new height!