Learning to grow into the athlete we want to become is about changing who we are so we can get to and handle what the next level will demand. Every athlete has aspirations for the level they would like to play at. Whether that is getting to a higher club level or going to college or professional with their sport, each person usually wants to get better and compete at a higher level than they currently are. One of the reasons many individuals start seeing me is that they are having difficulty getting there or once they are there the pressure they feel is more than they can handle on their own. If it were purely based on physical skills than athletes would find themselves at very different levels than they are and would have no problem making the jump up. However, the ability to perform is highly reliant on our mental game, and many people don’t put in any time or effort in understanding and harnessing this part of them.
If we don’t examine and understand a part of us that contributes the most to our success and ability to get to new levels in our performance and life, than how are we going to get there and be able to handle the new demands once we are there? Every next level of your life will demand a different you. We can not remain the same person and be able to get to the next level, or if we do happen to get to the next level we will falter and have many things come up because we have not changed to meet what is now expected of us. Change is inevitable and we need to be able to understand how we must change in order to make the necessary steps to becoming what we must in order to excel at the next level.
So what are these changes? Well usually they are very small in nature, but if done consistently they create a ripple effect that leads to us becoming different and what we need to become for the next level. For example, do you eat the foods you know you need to eat to fuel your body in the proper way to perform? Do you get the sleep you need so that you can maintain the focus and composure you need? Do you take time to meditate or do other mindful activities to train yourself to stay focused and in the moment? Every single day we are preparing for our next competition or game. Our ability to perform in the moment we want during a game or competition is determined by how we spend and use the moments leading up to that day. A game or competition is a time when we hope to take everything we have done and display our skills and potential at their highest level, but we can’t just prepare ourselves in that moment and think it will all work out. The smallest things really do make the biggest difference. What choices do you make however small that you know might be impacting your ability to become the person you need to become to reach the next level?