“You really don’t know how good you can be.”
I’m sure this phrase has been echoed by coaches all across the state at some point in the season. It’s a phrase that alludes to the player in your program that has all the potential in the world, but can’t seem to see it within themselves. They can jump out of the gym. They see the court like a hawk. They can get down the length of the court in 4 seconds or less. But they just never really put it all together.
Recently I read a great resource for players and coaches called Mind Gym by Gary Mack. This book is an excellent resource for those who are looking to tap into the mental side of the game of all sports and will help you to get at what might be causing you to underachieve. Gary is an expert on Mental Skill Development and works with countless athletes on helping them harness their inner self in order to maximize their athletic performance.
In his book Mind Gym, he identifies some of the ‘Self-Defeating Thoughts That Undermine Performance’:
- Lack of Motivation
I believe that most coaches have a tendency to assume that because a player isn’t realizing their potential, the first thing that is assumed is that the player is lazy or unmotivated. However, with so many athletes having outside challenges and other variables, you really can’t count out a lot of these listed above. For example, a lot of kids are afraid of success. Fear can keep a player from really trying to be their best because that next push for them is unknown. If they don’t believe in themselves, then it’s easy to let fear set in and withhold them from being great.
A lot of kids in today’s society are fragile. The skin just isn’t as thick as it was years ago because kids have more choices now more they have ever had. They can choose to give up or quit a lot easier than before and many are alright with it.
As a coach or parent, the biggest thing to remember is to be aware of these ‘Performance Challengers’ and address these area’s specifically and individually. Not all kids are the same, and when you can address each player at a different level, I truly believe it makes a huge difference in the shaping of the players development.
As a player, it’s very important to do some soul searching to see what level your commitment is and clearly communicating this with your coach(s) and parent(s). Don’t be afraid to let them know if you’re really not in it or if you are dealing with some things that maybe that’s not clearly seen to everyone else on the outside. Believe in yourself and your God-given abilities and don’t shy away from leaving your comfort zone……that is where you grow!
If you ever have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to contact via the methods below.
Striving to be a difference maker!