Coaches: Is your athlete struggling to let go of FEAR?
Coaches underestimate that fear is the biggest block for any athlete in achieving mental toughness.
Coach, your job is one of the most important authority positions a young person will encounter and you have tremendous power to influence them…if you use it wisely.
I often talk to coaches about the tremendous impact they have on young athlete’s performance and more importantly, their lives outside of sports. Some forget that everything they do the players are watching and listening whether you like it or not.
Many coaches vastly underestimate the power of being an authority figure and need to understand that especially younger athletes take the words they use very seriously.
“A COACH WILL IMPACT MORE YOUNG PEOPLE IN A YEAR THAN AN AVERAGE PERSON DOES IN A LIFETIME” – Billy Graham
Of course kids in their teens have a much thicker skin than 10 year old, but even so, I have helped countless athletes of ALL ages clear the interference patterns and fear that come from coach’s comments.
Coaches must do everything to protect young athletes from creating FEAR or they end up risking throwing away talent and harming a players own success.
Coaches and parents must understand if they want to get the most out of young athletes is that you can’t treat all athletes the same and expect them all to rise that narrow method of bringing out their best.
In other words, coaches and parents get stuck on the “Well this worked for me growing up so it should work for my young athlete.”
Some coaches tend to be even more stubborn with attitudes like: “I have had success doing it THIS way and therefore everyone should fall in line.” This is usually be a focus on purely winning and results at all costs.
Always remember: Every person is unique = Every athlete is also unique!
Sports is a unique laboratory environment for studying performance. In the business world, it’s been long known that to get everything out of an employee, you have to find what motivates each individual employee and work on that.
What I’m really trying to say in this article is: Keeping young players in sport is the key, the skills they can end up developing can also be used in later life in their career and to give them an edge in the business world or one day when they have kids them selves, and coaches this is your job to help them stay in the sport!!
For coaches would be so much more effective by studying the successful coaching psychology of what makes players tick and getting the best out of their players coaches such as as John Wooden is a classic example where he never talked about winning, but there are also others such as Wayne Bennett, Craig Bellamy, Pete Carroll, Bill Walsh, Joe Ehrmann. These coaches could take any player or team and guide them to their very very best.
If you were to interview a hundred kids in sports and ask them about things coaches have said to them, at least half (50) would tell you about something that really hurt them and many of those would still be carrying around the detrimental effects. This effect has causes interference which ultimately impacts the players overall performance.
I know, I’ve heard them and I just shake my head as it doesn’t have to be this way. The fact is the world has never needed really good coaches more than it does right now.
A person called coach, needs to create an environment of love respect in order to teach athletes (especially youth athletes) about sport and life, and it has never been more important than it is today.
Coaches: everyone is working hard out there. Every coach pushes the hard work line. That’s a given. If you want the winning edge, it’s in the minds of your athletes (not yours) and its not about you, it’s your job to find that and inspire it, and building belief in each of your athletes.
Like our athletes we always want to be learning and improving. So for Coaches do not ever think you have the perfect winning formula. Be Flexible in your approach. Speak to other successful coaches and keep educating yourself. The fact is no matter how long you have coached for you do not know it all, you can always improve especially the mental game for you and your athletes!
At Sports Mental Toughness coach we work on removing athletes “non useful beliefs” which we also call Interference, and work on installing long term useful beliefs so that athletes and teams can go out and play to their absolute potential.
Coaches, if you were to give me your most difficult player on your team and let me transform that player for you into a powerhouse, this would allow you to do what you do which is to COACH your team!