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Mar
28

Finding the Athlete Within

Finding the Athlete Within

Going the extra mile isn’t just about putting more practice time in; it is also about finding the athlete that they are as individuals.

Whether it is focused on their swing, throw, fielding, pitching, catching, or their mental game, each athlete is learning more about her own skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. They are each learning who and what inspires them, what they need to work on for themselves, how they need to prepare themselves for a game, how they react and respond in different situations, and how to challenge themselves.

It is very common to have a parent, coach, or instructor become critical, judge mental, and one sided on what is “right” and what is “wrong”…we all have opinions and perspectives, but we have to remember that even though they are our kids and athletes, they are not us. They learn differently, they practice and play differently, they think differently, and they react differently to different types of coaching and teaching styles. As coaches, instructors, and parents we should be giving our athletes the tools and knowledge they need to be diligent, honest, brave, focused, and competitive, but it is up to the athlete on how they use those tools and apply them to their own understanding, lifestyle, practice, goals, and preparation.

It is important to remember that we are MENTORS. We are motivating factors in their lives; we are their guide, and their safe confidant. It is not up to us to tell them who they are, but to help them, encourage them, teach them, and guide them in becoming strong women who find and create who they are and who they want to be as athletes and as individuals.

There is a difference between making your athlete do extra practice verses giving them positive motivation and reasoning as to WHY it is important. Their emotions and feelings during that extra practice are crucial. Attitude is everything! They either want to be there or they don’t. They either take advantage of their time, or they waste it. It is completely up to them, we just have to trust and have faith that we do all we can as mentors, coaches, parents, and instructors to inspire the ambition to grab onto new knowledge, perspectives, goals, and opportunities instead of letting them slip through their fingers.

“No one is you, and that is your super power.”

Written by Nikoli Sharp

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