My first introduction to sports psychology and coaching was back in high school. I ran track and cross country, earning the coveted “Most Improved” award. It wasn’t that I was such an impressive runner, but after crossing the finish line in my first race just as they were taking down the finish chute anything was an improvement. Maybe it was because I just didn’t quit. We moved schools after my first year, and with it came a new coach. He was definitely ahead of his time as far of his knowledge of sports psychology and distance coaching went; even though I’m sure he never made anything near a six-figure income as a high school coach. His coaching took me from a mediocre high school distance runner to a UCLA athlete.
Only Losers Say That Winning Isn’t Everything
If you’ve never watched the Olympics you know. The quest for winning the gold takes priority over every aspect of these athletes’ lives. At the moment they win their lives are forever changed; especially in the high profile events. There are some athletes who say that they just came to compete; that alone was a dream come true. Others, however, are not satisfied and are willing to sacrifice another 4 years for the chance to win. Still others justify their position after they lose with all types of reasons why it wasn’t that important to them. They quit. There is a definitive difference in the sports psychology and coaching mentality behind these groups.
The Truth Behind Sports Psychology and Coaching
If you have a plan B, you’re not really committed to your plan A. In business, in sports, in relationships. Think about marriage vows, “Until death do us part.” Most people in our society can’t keep their focus long enough to really win. They give up early when things become uncomfortable. Winners don’t quit period. Mary Lou Retton scored a perfect 10 on the vault to win in the 1984 Olympics with a bad knee, when everyone else expected her to quit. There is no secret to success in sports psychology and coaching except to dig deep and give everything you have.
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