Long gone are the days when young athletes would only occasionally see their name in a school or local newspaper for their athletic accomplishments.  If you’re a sports parent or coach, it’s likely you remember how rare it used to be to receive press in the news (remember newspaper clippings?!), and probably marvel at how much things have changed with respect to kids getting media attention today.  In fact, talented student athletes probably have more social media posts and pictures go viral in one day today than their parents might have had over their entire youth sport career. Overexposure? Social media has given us countless outlets to use as communication, from Facebook to Twitter and everything in between.  The ease …
Each year millions of athletes of all ages and skill levels will experience a unique transition known as sport retirement.  Some athletes leave sports voluntarily, some because of injury, and others due to deselection.  Athletes cope with the loss in different ways, too, as some move through the sport retirement rather easily, while other struggle trying to figure out who they are after the cheering stops.  It is this second group of athletes — the ones who struggle — that I would like to focus on today, and provide professional insights relating to one of the mediating variables that impacts the degree and length of time relating to a successful sport retirement transition. “Unfinished business” An interesting variable that correlates …
ADD and ADHD have become so commonplace these days that we rarely talk critically about either diagnosis anymore.  Odds are that either you or someone you know has recently talked casually about someone being “ADD,” or you may have joked about your own ADD regularly preventing you from accomplishing things in life.  In fact, we talk about ADD as though its the modern day common cold, and scrutinize the diagnosis with about the same of thought (meaning we don’t). The reality is that more kids today are labeled ADD, more kids are on drugs as a result, and fewer people seem to really care.  I have had my own criticisms of this changing paradigm, and you can read some of …
While it may seem on the surface that only people with natural talent become the best at what they do, I would argue that natural talent alone is actually a much smaller piece to the success puzzle than you might think.  In fact, in most cases in life the difference in natural talent between you and the competition is a lot less than what it might appear, and that this difference can be shrunk even smaller by overcoming two major variables that almost always hold people back.  What I am talking about are the excuses people use when they struggle, and the denial defense mechanism they choose when credible people try to provide meaningful feedback to help. Rich advice that …
Most people have heard of the saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” but have you ever really thought about what this really means?  Like many things in life, the simplicity of the statement almost makes it appear to lack in any real, true value — but the reality is that this is one of the most powerful truths when it comes to achieving our peak potential in life.  As we work to be better than the competition, it’s important to remember that planning is actually an activity 100% under our control, and something we can get so good at that it not only helps us be our best, but provides advantages over other, seemingly more talented people who …
Perfectionism is defined as “the act of making or doing something completely free from faults or defects.” Being a self-proclaimed perfectionist is defined as “a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.” Think for a moment how many times you have heard someone say they strive to be “perfect,” or that they strive for “perfectionism” and/or are a “perfectionist.” In fact, maybe you yourself have used these terms in describing your own efforts pertaining to the tasks you take on in life.  In essence, these terms all speak to the idea of being absolutely flawless, and while it is (in theory) a wonderful aspiration, is it realistic? “Perfectionism” is thrown around far too loosely While it may …
Human peak performance is achieved in sports by utilizing mental strategies to increase confidence, improve focus, and minimize anxiety.  When mental energy is positive and facilitative, only then can the mind and body work in synchrony, allowing athletes to play in the zone.   The good news is learning how to harness mental energy might not be as tough as you think, so long as you are interested and committed to developing your mental strength. What happens with no mental preparation As athletes grow and begin to player better competition, stress levels often increase thinking about whether one has the abilities to play at a high level.  When athletes feel over-matched, anxiety spikes while confidence wavers — a bad combination …
Sports parents have to be on their game these days if they want to ensure that their kids to enjoy a safe, fun, and meaningful sport/life experience.  Being an active sport parent helps kids steer clear of many problems, but there are still questions to answer as you support your young athlete.  I am fortunate to work with student athletes and their families, and it is from these direct experiences that I would like to share some specific issues that I refer to as “sport traps” based on questionable interpretations of sketchy information. Balance your emotions with logic While we all strive to evaluate our kids fairly when they compete, I have yet to meet a parent who hasn’t momentarily …