Too many people undersell their opportunities because they are afraid to fail.
Us parents do this all the time with our young athletes. Setting the bar low, or removing the bar altogether, is the same as telling your athlete they aren’t good enough. The mind can only hear so many messages before it takes the messaging as canon law. We don’t need to undersell potential; we need to redirect our focus.
That means if your athlete wants to achieve more than playing on their current team, if they aspire to compete in college, or in the pros; take the opportunity to reinforce the behaviors that will give them the best chance to do so. Instead of resetting their reality; give them an opportunity to demonstrate that they are willing to work for what they want.
I have experienced the physical hurdles to compete at the higher levels, and it is true that some people will not reach those requirements. There are baseline levels of competency in some form or fashion for most competitive positions in the world; they are most often not associated with size and speed, but IQ and EQ.
However, the physical hurdles that athletes must leap over in order to find success at the next level are not as high as we think they are. Not being ‘ideal’ is not the same as not having an opportunity. This is a lie we tell our youth because we don’t want them to be disappointed. This is us imposing our fears on them.
The majority of athletes fall short of their goals because they don’t have the toolset to find success. They don’t know how to get into the right mindset to consistently develop and perform. They go to practice and gloss over the technical details of their position in order to learn the latest scheme or opponent adjustments. Athletes don’t embrace the idea that decisions made off the field directly affect their performance on the field.
Teams at every level now prioritize winning over developing their players. This is the American way! There are incredible coaching staffs that have the ability to capture the right mix of both, and if you can find one of them get on board! But the demands of social media, recruiting, and parental involvement have shifted our preferences from development to results, and dampened the original intentions of our development leagues.
That means that in order for the majority of athletes on the team to pursue their individual goals, they need to create the conditions in practice, around practice, and during free time to maximize their development opportunities.
This doesn’t necessarily mean changing your entire life, but it does require knowing WHEN and HOW to take time for an athlete to work on themselves. This is a skill that will reach far beyond their athletic careers. Our Process2Perform athletes have reached some incredible goals in short periods of time because we focus on developing their mindset, their technical ability, and prioritize the lifestyle decisions in the best interest of their future selves.
It is a shift in perception. Disappointment and frustration are a part of the journey of any worthwhile endeavor. What athletes can’t forgive or forget is regret. Regret in knowing they could have done more, could have been more than they allowed themselves to become more. However far an athlete makes it, the habits and lessons they gain from their athletic careers will fuel the next phase of their life.
We know this to be true; hard work, resilience, leadership, and commitment to the cause are all traits we find crucial to success in most competitive industries. So embrace the opportunity, be their champion, help your athlete develop the toolset needed to excel at the next level.
If you have an aspiring athlete who is desperate to play at the next level, I have created a webinar for parents just like you; parents who want to help their athletes, but don’t have the toolset to pass along to them. You can check it out at https://p2pwebseries.com/. It’s completely free, and I guarantee it is worth your time.
If you prefer conversation, click here to schedule a call at your convenience. Helping committed athlete achieve their goals is why we do this; I will spend 45 minutes working with you to help your athlete for no cost. It’s worth it to me if you and your athlete are committed.
Mindset. Technical. Lifestyle.
We have improved the development trajectory for professional athletes, scholarship and college walk-ons, high school standouts, and academy level athletes…the mindset is consistent across age and sport.
And be sure to check out the Process2Perform podcast series. New episode every Wednesday focused on player development.