After so many years of meeting well over 1000+ athletes I have noticed some common "ingredients" that the most successful ones possess. Do you have at least 1 of these ... or better yet, all 3?
1) A commitment to their priorities.
2) A burning desire to achieve their goals.
3) A willingness to learn & to be taught.
Here is what I mean by a commitment to their priorities. Once an athlete picks a goal to achieve, there must be an adjustment of priorities. We all have different life balances and things going on in our life so an athlete must take the time to sit down and write out a list of priorities and stick to it. All to often I see athletes "change on the fly" (so to speak) due to things like: their friends influence, entertainment distractions, poor decisions on food intake, etc. For example: If your goal is to become a starter on your team, and it's the 3rd priority behind family and getting a 4.0+ in school, then you should never let your social life get in the way of your training schedule. That being said, both the type of athletic development training you are getting and the volume of it will need to be improved.
The next point I'm making about having a burning desire to achieve goals that are set is very important. This is the nucleus of the 3 ingredients. The reason being that this is "willpower" and that has to come from within, not taught. Coaching and teaching it can only bring perspective the the situation. If you truly, deeply, down in your soul want to decrease your 40yd dash time then you will... simple as that. If you don't then other distractions will de-rail you from your mission at hand.
The third ingredient of having a willingness to learn & to be taught is often overlooked. Here is what I mean, you can't bring your ego to the table every time. If you knew everything there is to know and your body is programed neuromuscularly to be at optimal performance, then you would be at your goal and wouldn't be reading this article. Blunt, yes, but it's the truth. The mental toughness of an athlete is either their best friend or their enemy. Part of being mentally sound is having your "student" hat on at all times around both your training staff & your coaching staff. You will make the progressive strides you are looking for even if you just put that student hat on 50% more of the time... so could you image if you always did? I'd like to also add that having quality coaches around your is vital to this athletic success formula.
To help you get moving forward, I want you to post in the comment section below, your "Declaration of Action" that your are going to start taking as of today. I'm saying this because you don't possess the magical ability to rewind the clock ... all you can say is either: I should have... I could have... or I did.
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Ryan Bishel, BA, PES has been coaching athletes since 1999. Numerous athletes have competed in NCAA athletics and professional sports.