If you have been in the sports world for long, you must have met athletes who are overall goofs. The ones who don’t take the game too seriously, make jokes or remarks to attempt to make their teammates chuckle, and who don’t spend an excessive amount of time thinking about the game because they’re just in it to have fun. Perhaps they’re new in the game or perhaps they simply have a lighthearted personality but these athletes don’t care an awful lot about coming top or dropping so long as they have a very good time. Let’s call this group of athletes the “in it for fun” athletes.
You’ve probably also met athletes who are way too serious about the game. Who seemingly don’t have any capability for jokes or laughter because they’re too busy over-analyzing each flow, putting in extra exercise runs, and going above and beyond what’s required of them. These athletes place too much emphasis on the final results of games and are deeply impacted by losses or setbacks. They’ve lost all sense of enjoyment and have entered “the risk region” because they run the threat of hurting themselves by ignoring injuries, becoming burned out, and quitting from stress overload. Let’s call this group of athletes the “overly serious” athletes.
Neither of those sort of athletes is going to reach peak performance because their mind isn’t where it should be!
The “in it for fun” athlete hasn’t yet made the choice whether he/she in reality desires to excel at the sport. They’re focused on taking part in the procedure, which is a great element, however, they’re just not motivated enough to clearly give it they’re all. The vital element here is to permit the athlete to continue enjoying the sport and no longer push them towards placing extra emphasis on winning. If or once they’re geared up, they’ll get a bit more serious with the sport, however, that motivation has to come from inside themselves.
The “overly serious” athlete is on the opposite side of the spectrum. He/she has lost perspective of what’s truly essential because the errors and sports results get blown out of proportion. The game will become a regular supply of stress and this is an enabling environment for problems like choking, slumps, or blocks. The vital component here if you’re a parent or coach is to first make certain you aren’t reinforcing an outcome-based approach via stress to win. Second, make certain the athlete knows they’re valued and cherished irrespective of what happens in the game. In case you’re the “overly serious” athlete, ask yourself where all of the stress is coming from and keep in mind other ways to address it. Ask for assistance in case you need it, take a break if that’ll help, adjust your concentration, and allow yourself to gradually soften so that you can stay within the flow of your sport without being too tough on yourself.
In effect, that leaves us with the best approach to peak performance; a balance between fun and seriousness.
This is when the athlete has made a choice to surely try to excel in the game while continuing to have fun. It commonly gets initiated when the individual joins a journey group, gets more extensive professional training, and starts to set goals for him/herself. No matter the reality that hard work and sacrifice are vital prerequisites for fulfillment, the athlete nonetheless continues with love and passion for the game. And even as the final results of a competition may become more crucial to the player than when he/she was simply having fun, he/she is nevertheless easily able to hold those wins and losses in perspective.
The fun element permits the athlete to remain lighthearted and in reality enjoy himself/herself all through the practices and game play, preserving his/her head in the game and no longer getting too caught up in horrific breaks. And the serious detail lets him/her to stay stimulated enough to constantly enhance, set new dreams, and seek out the steering and aid needed to attain a higher level.
Interestingly enough, the jobs of both parents and coaches don’t differ much from the other stages. Dads and moms still need to hold their primary stance of unconditional love and guide, without stress or training. They should help their children get to practice and games, volunteer to assist when they can, and absolutely keep away from imposing the weight of high expectations. Coaches ought to preserve the magical balancing act of fun and serious work, always prioritizing learning alongside growth, with an excellent dose of continuously pushing athletes just beyond their comfort zones.
How have you managed to balance fun and seriousness in your sports? Tell me by commenting below.