For any athlete to become a champion, which to means going as far as possible in their sport, it takes a total team effort behind them. Without the appropriate support and guidance of coaches and parents, real success in sports is virtually impossible! The key here is that each member of the ATHLETE-PARENT-COACH team “play” the right role, and play it to the very best of their abilities!
Unfortunately, well-meaning team members frequently get caught up in wanting to do more to “help” and so inadvertently step outside of their proper role. When this happens, their “help” backfires, sabotaging the process and inadvertently generating performance problems for the athlete.
Today we’ll focus on the role the athlete plays as a member of the team.
THE ATHLETE’S ROLE
Be coachable – Be open to learning and willing to take critical feedback. You don’t improve without making mistakes and getting feedback from the coach about what you need to work on and do differently next time.
Have your OWN goals – The sport belongs to YOU. You should practice and compete because YOU WANT TO! You should not be doing the sport to make others happy or proud of you.
Love what you’re doing – You should participate because you LOVE what you’re doing. Your sport should be FUN for YOU. You should be passionate about it!
Work hard, be committed – Success in anything comes down to how willing you are to put the time, energy and effort into your activity. There is no substitute for hard work! It is the ultimate “secret” to success.
Be a CLASS ACT – Being a real success is very much all about HOW YOU ARE as a person. You can’t define being a winner as the outcome of a competition. It’s HOW you play that really counts. Conduct yourself with dignity, HONESTY and class!
Be a good sport – Similar to above, your job on the team is to be a gracious winner and a gracious loser. This means that you want to play by the rules. When you play and win, do so fair and square. Remember, WINNERS DON’T CHEAT! Also, don’t brag. Don’t gloat. Don’t let your ego control your actions. When you fail, handle that loss like a champion. Congratulate your opponent. Keep your head up! Your reputation and character are on the line.
Be a team player – The mark of a true champion is he/she makes his/her teammates better. Support your mates. Be unselfish! Do everything that you can to raise the level of their play. Remember that overworked cliché, “There’s no “I” in team!” Set your ego aside when you play and model a good team player!
Do the BEST you can – Pursue excellence in everything that you do. Don’t just go through the motions. Be fully invested in your practices and games. Even if you’re not at your best that day, do the best you can that day!
Pay attention to details – The very best athletes in the world get to be the best because, whenever they practice, they pay attention to all the important details! They focus closely on technique to make it the very best they can. It’s the little things that you do in practice that ultimately make the biggest difference in the long run.
Play your role – Work to get better, but be willing to play the role assigned to you by the coach, and do this to the very best of your ability.
When each member of the “team” plays their appropriate role, the athlete’s chances of turning their dream into a reality go way up. Stay tuned to learn about the role of the coach and the parent!
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