What makes for a great athlete, one who performs at a peak level on a consistent basis? On television we can watch these elite athletes every weekend. However, at the youth sports level...not so much. What then separates the great athletes from those who aspire to be, and how can your athlete become a consistent peak performer?
Let's look at the profile of a peak performing player to see how your athlete compares:
- She is proactive in her mental approach and preparation for both her practices and her games filling her head with positive thoughts and statements. She recognizes that how she thinks is how she plays.
- He has a solid pre-game and in-game physical and mental game plan that allows him to remain in the present moment on the field, rather than future or past focused.
- She possesses rock solid self-confidence that allows her to remain calm under pressure and focus on the task at hand.
- Because he is self-confident and does not focus on the results but rather the process he is able to overcome any adversity and looks at such adversity as a learning opportunity to further improve his game.
- Her mental mastery allows her to play anxiety and fear free, enabling her to consistently perform at peak levels.
- He knows that he is mentally and physically prepared each game and, as such, he expects success.
- She possesses a deep level of joy and passion for playing the game she loves, that anyone can easily see by the smile on her face and her body language.
- He is a poised athlete who recognizes that mistakes are part of the game.
- She is able to manage the expectations of herself and others around her in a healthy manner, challenging herself but keeping the game and her performance all in perspective of the bigger picture.
- He is a leader on his team and the player his teammates look to for inspiration and his coaches looks to for peak performance.
- She can’t wait to get to the field for practice or games!
Becoming a consistent peak performer is a journey, not a destination that requires constant effort and practice mastering the same mental skills that Olympic, professional and elite athletes the world over engage in. Give your athlete time along his or her journey to develop these mental skills and the outside help it might take to do so.