As March wanes and April rounds the corner, athletes gear up for summer sports all over the country. If you’re off-season, it’s a great time for young athletes to focus on improvement during their spring training programs. In the final part in this series, we will focus on four final intangible skills that every athlete needs to be the best version of themselves. Coach your athletes to master these, and you will help them to become more well-rounded athletes in the long run.
Here are the final four intangible skills that super athletes have in spades:
8. Dealing with Pressure
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure. –Peter Marshal
It is a myth that elite athletes don’t feel or register the immense pressure of big moments. The basketball player that needs to score two free throws in the closing minutes to tie the championship game. The quarterback that has the ball and 2 minutes to drive the field.
What differentiates those who allow the pressure to rule them those who conquer those moments on a consistent basis? Great Coaching.
It is a firm belief that great athletes do not actually rise to the occasion in crucial moments. Instead, they sink to the level of their training. So, we should view this as an opportunity 1to instill our young athletes with the coping mechanisms that allow them to bring a higher level of focus that can allow them to be their best when their best is needed.
9. Developing Supreme Concentration
“Success in any endeavor requires single-minded attention to detail and total concentration.” -Willie Sutton
What separates the great athlete from the average? In many accounts people look towards the physical ability and talents. We marvel at all the amazing things they are able to do in the scope of competition and how well they are able to do these things.
The difference between great and average is often not carried in the physical elements of the athlete because at the highest levels of sport the talent level is often so close that only focus on small details separates the elite from the field.
The best 40-yard dash times in the NFL are often separated by fractions of seconds. It is the painstaking attention to detail that the athlete takes in preparation for such a competition that leads to true elite performance.
It is our responsibility to help our young athletes develop laser focus and concentration in all that they do to bestow on them an extra advantage in the times that matter most.
10. Finding Motivation
“We May Encounter Many Defeats, but We Must Not Be Defeated.” – Maya Angelou
I don’t think it is a surprise to hear that in sports thigs will not always go as we may have anticipated in our preparation. Therefore, the motivation for the elite athlete to perform at the highest levels is contingent upon the athlete finding ways to stay motivated in times of struggle or defeat.
In baseball for example, the best batters will only be successful 30% of the time. It is a great responsibility for us as coaches to help our young athletes understand that it is imperative to find motivation to put in the quality work for success.
Motivation is like bathing, you need to do it every day.
11. Commiting to your Commitment
“Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.” Jim Rohn
Overall no training or element of high-level coaching is worth its salt without the commitment of the athlete to reach the highest levels of their potential. An athletic career in the long run will be filled with pitfalls and setbacks. It takes the courage of conviction to reach and chase the greatness.
Championships and accolades do not come without an extreme commitment to excellence. A devotion to do the things that others won’t do, in order to achieve the things that others won’t achieve.
As coaches, it is our ultimate responsibility to hold our young athletes to their commitments in sports and in life. Winners can be created both on and off the field of play.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” Vince Lombardi
I hope this series shed some light on the intangibles that create better leaders and teammates. If that becomes a central focus for us as coaches, then every day we are creating winners. Keep doing great coach work.
Michael Piercy, MS, CSCS is the owner of The LAB in Fairfield, New Jersey. He is the recipient of the 2017 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year award and has also been awarded the 2013 TRX FACEUP award for Overall Instructor of the Year. He represents brands such as Under Armour, TRX® and Matrix fitness as a Master Trainer. A former professional baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Montreal Expos, he brings his unique perspective to his work with athletes and active adults. He holds a master’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in performance enhancement and also holds multiple advanced level Certifications from organizations such as ACE, ACSM, NASM and NSCA.