Striving for Perfection

Striving for Perfection

“You will never influence the world by trying to fit in.”

Does your athlete strive for perfection?

Are they afraid of being anything but perfect?

Do they fear making mistakes?

Do they worry about disappointment?

Chasing perfection is a tough run. I think it is our job to help our athletes see their own type of “perfect”. While many of us have compared, listened, and judged ourselves based on what society or the environment we have grown up in believes what the idea of perfection is, we start chasing the person we are not, and chasing the person that we want to be based on what others think or believe to be “perfect” or “acceptable”.

Whether it is in life or in a sport, chasing majority’s idea of perfection is setting us up for failure. It is holding us back, messing with our emotions, turning us into someone else, and causing us to lose who we truly are.

As a coach, I never want my athletes to think they need to be “perfect” based on everyone else’s standards. I want them to create their own “perfect”. I believe we are all imperfectly perfect. We have flaws, we’ve made and will make mistakes, we have disappointed ourselves and others, we have reached goals and have had setbacks, but all of those factors in our lives have created each of us as individuals. We become stronger, braver, smarter, passionate, and empathetic. We become aware of who we are and what we are each capable of, and we realize that accepting who we are instead of chasing who everyone “wants” us to be, will lead us into becoming the best version of ourselves.

If our athletes don’t understand that, then they will be disappointing themselves, slowing their progress, and stopping them from having the love for the game and having fun with the sport. Being afraid of disappointment or trying to chase perfection doesn’t allow them to perform to their highest potential, so it is up to us as parents and coaches to help guide them, to help them see their path, and to create tools they can use to get to their own success and to their true self.

Creating goals and an overall plan to our success should be personalized to each individual. We are all different. Different personalities, learning skills, academic levels, athletic strengths and weaknesses, want and needs. If we are able to look at ourselves with honest eyes and an honest heart, we can create a plan in reaching the best version of ourselves that is tailored to us. These individual plans will help each of our athletes take a path that is made for them. Take the steps that are needed to be taken whether they are big or small. Given time whether it is more or less that is needed. And help them reach their own success and their own “perfect”.

Chasing perfection is a disappointing run when the destination is towards someone else’s “perfect”. Help yourself and your athlete create their own! We all want our kids and athletes to reach their highest potential, believe in themselves, and to become the best version of themselves they can be.

“Courage is being yourself every day in a world that always tells you to be someone else.”

Written by Nikoli Sharp

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