PARENTAL / ADULT SUPPORT
Parents and other supporting adults are encouraged to get involved in the athlete’s mental training system. Athletes need to be able to practice mental skills and sports-related strategies independent of outcomes. Significant adults who understand this can be a support for athletes reaching their goals.
Some athletes have difficulty focusing on the process of performing as opposed to the outcome of performance. For individuals who like to compete, winning and losing are essential concerns. It is hard to put these endgames aside when they interfere with learning, practicing, and performing. Because growth is a process, changing behaviors happens over time with repetition.
It is imperative that athletes seek the support of people who can help them establish a balance between physical practice and mental practice. Many times they ask for help from people who are genuinely interested in their development but end up sabotaging their training program. Without realizing it, their help focuses in on the outcome. Some coaches interact with their athletes where only the outcome matters. If athletes want age-appropriate mentoring, then those mentors have to work within the context of the athlete’s goals. With this in mind, winning will take care of itself.
Change is seldom easy or without consequences. Athletes may find that while changes may be mostly positive and create better circumstances, some areas of life may become problematic as a result of the change. Any training system requires commitment, time, and dedication. Meaningful change does not happen overnight. If a person wants to be the best at what they do, then there are no shortcuts. Winning actions are a lifelong journey.