Everything great starts off with a strong foundation. A car can’t run without gas in the tank. Flowers can’t grow without being watered. A team can’t function properly without a solid coaching staff and teammates that believe in one another. If the foundation is somewhat rusted, full of cobwebs, or dusty, the rest of the “unit” won’t work.
Think about your team and the role you play on this team. You are one “gear” to the full “unit” that makes this team work. The team (unit) along with you individually (gear) can’t be rusted, full of cobwebs, or dusty. Yourself, your teammates, and coaching staff need to oil each gear so it can move without squeaking, wipe off any dirt, and pressure wash each individual part of the unit to make it sparkling clean again!
Now, how can the team become sparkling clean again? Each teammate needs to individually remember why they started competing in the first place. There are going to be times when faith in the process might become lost, quitting might be on the mind, and a loss of control in your life might occur. A used to be strong foundation becomes a slightly broken foundation. This happens to all athletes and this is okay! What is important is how you react to this and having the will to want to fix the broken foundation. Here are some key points to get your gear (yourself) a stronger foundation (whole team) sparkling clean again.
A Strong Foundation:
1. Push through any doubts in your head.
– It is easy to put doubt in your own head and it is even easier to listen to others. Whatever doubts you may have, write them down and give three reasons on how you are going to change these doubts phrases “I can’t…” to beliefs “I will…” phrases.
2. Remove yourself from anything that won’t let you mentally grow.
– This can be so simple. Let’s say you have a competition coming up and your friends want you to have a sleepover the day before. The sleepover might not be the best idea due to lack of sleep and going to bed super ate. Simply have a nice night with your friends and go home at a reasonable time. Setting yourself boundaries is something athletes have to do regularly.
3. Avoid Distractions.
– There is going to be distractions in every corner. This could be anything from watching TV to overhearing someone in the crowd. Remember, it’s about how you react to this. Take a deep breathe, ignore the voices in the background, turn off the TV, etc. This isn’t going to help, so why partake in it?
4. Always want to improve yourself.
– You might be really good at something and that is great! Now, what can you do to improve this even better? Make yourself a list of the items you are really good at. If it is always being on time for athletic training appointments, then work on being prepared for them beforehand. Have questions ready, get your supplies out that is needed, research new exercises you might want to try. No one was ever harmed by being too prepared!
5. Daily Reminders.
– There was a reason you started competing. It is always nice to have a little reminder. It gives you a purpose, will to keep going, push through the tired, and want to be successful.