We all want committed athletes. Committed to improvement, committed to the team and committed to the sport. But can an athlete be too committed? To the point where they wear blinders that causes them to limit their potential as person and as an athlete?
First off, stop banking on your kid to go pro to put you on easy street. Unfortunately, banking on little Johnny or Sally to become a professional athlete is a bad move. They are more likely to get struck by lightning than to play major professional sport!
An interesting challenge in the athlete development space is dealing with organizational duality. Simply, stated this is the difference between what organizations or athletic departments say related to how they value and understand their responsibility to the athletes under their purview, versus what they do.
When working in the field of performance psychology, the goal is always to help clients find an edge that can improve outcomes. One of the best methods to identify potential competitive edges for athletes is to closely look at what the best and most successful athletes are doing, and then try to replicate their behaviors. It is important to note that although, yes, the most successful players may owe a great deal of that success to talent, they also demonstrate strong behavioral tendencies to fully realize their talent.
Once an athlete starts to get paid, they need to change from a mindset of ‘just work hard and everything will take care of itself’, to the mindset of managing you and your ‘business’. As a professional athlete, you now need to take control of your ‘business’.
A mixed martial arts fight is decided before the octagon door closes. The fighter whose will to win is stronger will be the victor. Having a clear and focused mind is imperative in MMA, which is why many UFC fighters prepare with meditation.