Developing Mentally Strong Athletes

Being labelled as mentally tough is the highest compliment any athlete can receive, mental toughness is not a quality that individuals are born with it, it is an attitude that must be learned or adapted, a positive mindset that changes perspective and increases production. The most influential or ideal people to help and teach young athletes to develop this special talent, philosophy or ability are parents and coaches. It is a balance between ability, tolerating setbacks and staying mentally strong. Most coaches call it a priceless gift that influences the athlete’s whole life and not just his attitude towards his sports career.

Sports are Fun

There are a few specific outlooks or attitudes that should be communicated to younger athletes; the first and most important of those is that sports are fun. Whether a match results in a win or a loss the match itself remains a fun activity enjoyed with the rest of the team. Every teammate or athlete should enjoy every second of participation and the most important thing to imprint in young athletes’ mindsets is that winning is not a measure of enjoyment.

That Worth Achieving Rarely Comes Easy

The process of achieving mastery is challenging, long and often requires commitment, hours of practice and exercise, as well as a positive “, can do” attitude. The coach famed for leading the Green Bay Packers to victory, Vince Lombardi, often refers to the saying that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. The price of success is hard work. To master any sport requires practice, more practice and them some practice.

Mistakes Are a Vital Part of Mastering any Sport

Whether in life or sport, mistakes are a vital part of learning, without them we won’t learn as fast or a much, legendary UCLA coach, John Wooden sees mistakes as the stepping stones to success and achievement. It is important that coaches emphasise to athletes that making mistakes is better than avoiding the opportunity to shine, they are performance enhancements and shows where improvement and adjustment are needed. There is only one mistake in sports and life, and that is the failure to learn from our experiences.

What Really Counts is Effort

Highly successful coaching includes praise and emphasis on both efforts and the outcome, repeatedly communicating to athletes that their efforts are as important as the outcome is vitally important in motivating teams. Youngsters react on both their coaches’ words and actions, and therefore all efforts should be acknowledged in the same important light as winning results are.

Worth Should Never Be Confused with Performance

Young athletes should be sure of the fact that their performance in sport or their academic performances is not what identify their worth. Coaches play an important role as they should show athletes that they accept all unconditionally no matter the result, the effort and being part of the team is always acknowledged. By showing young athletes that even the coach has failures and mistakes, which he/she gracefully accepts, teach young children that everyone is fallible humans and that we move past mistakes to reach new heights via the lessons we learned from it.