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With several stages of commitment, an honest self-assessment can go a long way GET MENTAL : Erika Carlson    Commitment matters.  It’s a factor...

With several stages of commitment, an honest self-assessment can go a long way

GET MENTAL : Erika Carlson

   Commitment matters.  It’s a factor in your sport enjoyment, in your long-term sport success and your life skill development. Research tells us that long-term participation in sports help is more psychologically beneficial than with intermittent participation.  However, it’s not unusual to see a mismatch between how committed a player thinks he/she is and how committed his/her coach thinks he/she is.  

   Jeff Janssen’s book, “The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual” offers an excellent measurement tool, “The Commitment Continuum,” which can be used for both self-assessment and in a unique way to get extra feedback from your coach.

   First, rate yourself. How committed are you?  

   COMPLIANT — Compliants will do what they are told by their coaches and team leaders. They are obedient soldiers who do what is expected, but they lack the initiative to go above and beyond the call of duty.  

   COMMITTED — Committed people willingly go the extra mile in order to reach their goals. They are self-motivated, meaning that they do not need some one else to tell them what to do, or watch over their shoulder to make sure they are doing it.  

   COMPELLED — No matter what obstacles, adversities, or distractions might stand in their way, compelled people are going to find a way. They won’t rest until they get the job done. They prepare, train, and compete at the highest level. This means they never go through the motions or skip workouts, they eat well and get their proper rest, and they take advantage of every opportunity to get better.  

   Now that you’ve assessed yourself, ask your coach to rate your commitment and give you a brief explanation. Be brave. This is an excellent opportunity to open a conversation with your coach about your commitment. If you and your coach disagree — you feel you’re “committed” and coach says you’re “compliant” — then ask how you can better demonstrate your commitment.  This may be the difference maker in your career.

Erika Carlson is a certified mental trainer and owner of Excellence in Sports Performance in Pleasanton.

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