Providing clear standards and expectations is a gift that coaches can offer. The comfort that comes from knowing what’s likely to happen, and what will happen after that, is real.
An important part of well defined standards is “what it doesn’t look like”.
If the downside outcome is achieved the real or imagined booooo you hear is the same voice that says, “I know you’ve got this!”.
Get back after it knowing your people are in your corner and will be behind you no matter what.
In some cases the ends matter more than the means.
Once you’re on base, it doesn’t matter how you got there. The game now cares about your next move, or your next opportunity.
So don’t lament the little squib hit just out of the second baseman’s reach, celebrate the 60′ and figure out how to score a run.
Learning to embrace, or at least really feel it when you’re not feeling good about something is a true challenge. We’re wired to get away from pain or discomfort, physical or otherwise.
We avoid confrontation, hard situations and tough workouts because we don’t want to feel pain.
When we do fail, fall short or feel pain in a situation or relationship we typically try to cover it up, ignore or make excuses rather than actually feel how we feel.
Consider making an effort to combat these “feel good” attempts. It might be good for you.
Making it a habit to sit with that sinking or stinking feeling allows us to both recognize that it’s probably not that bad, and to help us to have perspective as we reflect on what got us to that point.
This takes practice. Go.
There’s a lot of talk out there about the current “everyone gets a trophy” culture in youth sports and how it’s tainting the “growing up” experience of current kids.
We talk about the fact that this is bad, and kids are consequently not mentally tough…
What are we doing about it?
Sports are hard. Losing is not fun. We don’t always get what we want.
The idea that something has to change is valid. Youth sports needs help in a lot of places. But, what about the kids already in high school or college who have a real fear of falling short, or even of experimentation. What do do about or with them?
Find a way to include struggle into your day to day activities. Even asking probing questions that don’t have a clear answer can provide a challenge. Push back on assumptions, ask “why?” and “what else do you see/think/feel?”.
These will work to provide safe struggle that can help us get used to being uncomfortable.
This is real and coaches should look closely at helping kids with perfectionist streaks and all kinds of fear.