The term commitment is thrown around a lot in sports. It can be a tricky topic to address with coaches, players and parents. Especially since each may have their own definition and practice of what it means to be committed.
Merriam-Webster simply defines commitment as, a promise to do or give something.
Coaches are most often coaching as a second job for little money. Motivation to coach is often around wanting to stay involved in the sport they love and to help give all the great advice and knowledge they learned to the next generation.
It’s usually a gross understatement to say they are committed.
Sport-parent commitment is often defined in two ways — time and money.
I don’t have to tell you that year-round youth sports are expensive and exhausting. Commuting to and from practice, traveling most weekends to games and tournaments asks a lot of the family. Eating on the run, gas, hotels … it all adds up.
No doubt parents are obviously committed to helping their kids succeed.
So here’s what it means to be committed.
The answer may vary a little bit from team to team, but here is consistent advice on how to get and stay committed.
Teams and individual sport athletes are usually pretty good at setting goals for the season ahead. Outcome goals (“win league”, “make it to NCS” or “beat our rival”) are the goals that are typically set but are tough to stay committed to because they are largely uncontrollable.
Teams and athletes can set goals about how to perform better during training and games.
For example, a quarterback might have a goal for “80 percent pass completion” or a receiver, “catch 90 percent of targeted passes.”
These are a little easier to track and measure, but still challenging to fully commit to since they are only moderately controllable, like the quality of passes or blocking that allows you to do your job well.
So that leaves us with process goals.
Process goals are personal daily or weekly goals that are 100 percent controllable.
Examples include, “run 2 miles, three times per week” or “lift weights two days per week,” or “eat every 3-4 hours on game day.” (See our nutrition expert, Jill Daniels for more about that!)
Because these goals are fully under your control, staying highly committed to carefully considered process goals leads to better performance, which helps to eventually reach your desired outcome.
Erika Carlson is a CEO and certified mental trainer at EW Performance, Inc. in Pleasanton.