Great athletes, similar to great people from any line of work, usually don’t achieve their greatness by chance, luck, or superior genetics, but instead because they make sure to do all the little things in order to be successful. These little things include being the first to practice and the last to leave; keeping a running journal of athletic accomplishments and future goals; and asking coaches specific questions about how to continue to improve (Sport Success 360). In fact, even their mental toughness grows and develops through effort, and not because they were simply born to be “mentally tough.”
In my career I have had the great fortune of working with some truly amazing people, and in every case that I can remember I can honestly say I have been far more impressed by the work ethic of these individuals more than anything else. These successful people have reached the highest levels because they leave no stone unturned, so to speak, and they know that in order to be the best they must do the things others are unwilling or uninterested in doing.
There really is no “magic bullet” when it comes to developing the sport psychology piece of mental toughness (and athletic success), as the progress each individual makes is largely dependent of the work he or she is willing to put in each day. Having a genetic advantage over the competition is certainly helpful, but that advantage usually flushes out as athletes mature and move up in competition level — that’s where doing all the little things takes over.
If you are a parent of a young athlete, or a youth sports coach, perhaps the greatest challenge you have is motivating kids to believe in their abilities and do all the little things necessary for success. In order to do this you might use this article to get the conversation going, or better yet, you might find real-life examples of players and teams that have overcome all odds in order to be successful. There are plenty of these success stories out there, and even autobiographies of athletes who talk candidly about their struggles and challenges on their way to greatness.
Do the “little things” by checking out our growing line of sport performance products designed to help athletes reach their full athletic potential!