One reason I love watching athletes receive awards is the acceptance speeches. In them athletes thank God, their mom, their Little League coach, their teammates, the fans, and on and on. They express tremendous gratitude to all those who helped them along the way. What if we encouraged athletes to express gratitude more often?
Sports fans witnessed history in this year’s October Classic. The Chicago Cubs broke their 108 year World Series Championship drought. They did so in dramatic fashion and displayed all that we love about sports on the biggest stage in baseball. While there was certainly exceptional play on the diamond, I am most interested in what the Cubs have done behind the scenes to build a championship organization. I believe every team can learn something from how the Chicago Cubs select, train, build, and field their team.
I don’t often share my day-to-day life updates with you on my blog. You are likely busy and I highly value the time you invest with me. Therefore, I aim to keep the content power-packed and value added for you.
In today’s athletic environment there are more opportunities to compete than ever before. Who should athletes be competing against? What kind of competition will further their growth and development best? These are the questions parents, coaches, and athletes are facing.
The human body can push further than many athletes realize. Often, the mind gives up before the body shuts down. Some athletes sell themselves short.
Athletes make mental mistakes. Hitters swing at bad pitches. Gymnasts over rotate on tumbling passes. Point guards make bad passes. Linemen jump offsides. We might assume athletes aren’t focused but in reality they are too amped up.
In sports we often ride the tides of emotion from wins and loses. We see this in athletes, coaches, and even fans. For athletes this can be a dangerous way to define success. Seeing success as black and white (wins and loses) creates a fragile sense of confidence and fear-based performance.
Great athletes are competitive. Nothing brings out the best in athletes like tough competition. As the Bible says, “Iron sharpens iron.”
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” I love this quote. It is a reminder that success comes from doing the little things, consistently, over time. I’ve written before about 11 habits that cultivate excellence, but many people struggle to develop habits in the first place.
You’ve probably heard that we get better at what we focus on. This is why we practice. This is one reason we keep team and player stats. However, showing up to practice everyday doesn’t guarantee improvement. Even working hard is not enough if the focus and intensity of practice is off target.