Use 2017’s Arrival To Analyze Where You Are, Plot A Path To Where You Want To Be
It’s that time of year again: When we look forward, dreaming about all that we will accomplish.
If you dream of having a meaningful and successful journey through sports, investing some time in these areas will help create a foundation of mental strength to help your thrive on and off the playing surface.
For some, the purpose in sports is simple: Win! For others, purpose may be to earn a scholarship or push personal limits. What your purpose is, isn’t nearly as important as actually having a clear purpose for your pursuit of sport. Having a reason (your “why”) to work hard, especially on days when you lack motivation, or are in a slump, or frustrated with your speed of development.
>> Challenges — Without purpose, it’s easy to give in. It’s easy to avoid training when you don’t feel like it. Not go the extra mile. Not get mentally fit.
>> Advice — Set aside 10 minutes per day for the next five days to write about your purpose. Why are you pursuing your sport? Why have you chosen your goals? Why do you want to work hard this year? Why do you want to feel successful?
Once purpose is established, it must be matched with commitment. You know that feeling that you should go to training, or do those extra push-ups, or stretch, but you REALLY don’t want to? That’s where commitment comes in. It’s the willingness to keep going.
>> Challenges — We all have time where our motivation doesn’t sustain us. That’s normal. Motivation will always ebb and flow. Commitment is continuing on your path even when motivation ebbs. It’s doing the extra work, pushing for the extra level of intensity, finding ways to get stronger — even when you’re not feeling it.
>> Advice — Identify times when you pushed yourself further than you thought you could. Take some time to relive that experience in your mind. How did you push yourself? How did you feel once you got started? How did you feel afterwards? As you build experience staying committed, it will get easier. You will build confidence in your ability to stay committed, regardless of motivation or distractions.
EMBRACING THE JOURNEY
This can be a tricky thing when you’re a young athlete. As a young athlete, you don’t yet have the life experience to know how special it is to have the time, space and support to pursue your dreams. Embracing the journey means you show up excited about what’s next. You embrace your coaches and are grateful for your support system.
>> Advice — Keep a journal to write about what you’re grateful for in sport experience. It’s nearly impossible to feel anxious and grateful at the same time, so you decide how you want to feel.