The single most important character trait necessary for success is “grit”; determination.
Oh I know. I know. Coach Bob at the academy has informed you (and by the way, a LOT of other parents … maybe ALL the other parents as well) that your nine year old is DESTINED for greatness.
“It’s inevitable,” he sings the praises. “He’s a special talent.”
So … talent. I get it. You thought I was going to say the word, “TALENT.”
BTW: Just be careful because usually the next sentences out of Coach Bob’s mouth are going to include these very important words … “You need to …”
… and THOSE words are going to be followed by some discussion about money … also followed by MORE discussion about how that money needs to transfer from your pocket to his … in order to fulfill whatever … “you need to …” either “get or … have or … do”.
Now THAT is inevitable!!!
Here’s another REEEEAALLY scarey scenario: MUCH scarier than the first … this is when Coach Bob (NOT the Coach Bob from the academy; THAT Coach Bob ALWAYS tells you your son/daughter is great. This is the OTHER Coach Bob; the one who “played some ball in high school” and now runs the youth rec team or league and is very compassionately explaining why your son or daughter is NOT getting any playing time and that, in his opinion your child is NOT talented and should take up another sport or … “focus on his/her schoolwork ”.
Stop the madness!!! Talent is NOT the key.
Don’t think so? Listen to (the world’s) top strength and conditioning expert Mike Boyle talk about the INVERSE relationship between talent and work ethic and how, “in general” (we’re not saying EVERYBODY but usually …) the players with the most talent have the least amount of work ethic.
Talent can wither in the face of adversity and often will; adversity like bad games, bad referees, bad bounces, distractions from coaches, parents, friends, etc., etc., etc.
Boyle talks about how talented athletes are also often PRIVILEGED athletes. Not privileged in the sense of money but “privileged” in the sense of possessing parents (and coaches, teachers, etc.) who, with the best intentions in the world remove many of the “obstacles” in the path of the young athlete’s success along the way.
Again; well intentioned, perhaps but not necessarily good for long term development.
Boyle goes on to explain how these athletes (he calls them EARLY achievers) fail or even drop out of their endeavors at an extremely high statistical rate at that point in time when they eventually are forced to confront obstacles or challenges and, as we all know, that confrontation and those challenges are both VERY inevitable.
No entiende? (That means “don’t understand?” in Spanish). Sure you do.
Do you or your son/daughter or the players you coach have “grit”? If not ..
Here are some “gritty and determined” character attributes … for your youngster … or yourself:
1. Have a clearly defined goal
2. Possess determination; especially in the face self doubt and the doubt / opinions of OTHERS. (I’m going to produce a horror film someday and I’m going to title it, “THEY …”
… as in THEY said … THEY say … THEY think … THEY believe.
Who the hell are “they”? And why are they important?
3. Knowledge and acceptance of the difficulty of the task in front of you.
5. Flexibility in planning
6. Ethics; especially WORK ethics.
Stay tuned. More coming up.
The process works when we work the process so here is the process …
KAIZEN: Constant Improvement.
LEARN and GROW. Break it down!!! Slow it down!!! Do it Correctly!!!
HABITUATE: Correct habits. Do it correctly over and over and over again.
I work to address a broad range of issues in the articles and give you all the best information possible. If you have a question or feel you would benefit by advice or counseling, give me a call.
I realize that sometimes it is difficult to ask for help; especially with mental skills. However, all of us can improve something with our game or field of endeavor.
Believe me … at the highest levels of performance which you all aspire to … mental skills are the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR GAME. Fixing mechanical skills or getting bigger stronger faster without being tough mentally simply DOES NOT WORK!!!
Sometimes we need help but don’t know who to ask … or how. Contact me and I can explain all our programs including sports mental toughness programs which can easily improve your own mental game or that of your son/daughter or the players you coach.
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