Athletes working hard to reach their full potential often hit roadblocks (including sports burnout) along the way to greatness, and it is in these moments where some athletes give up, while others make the necessary changes get to the next level. For those athletes who allow adversity to stop their personal growth, it’s usually because they get in the layman’s “definition of insanity” rut — more simply, they continue to utilize the same thinking and strategies and expect a different (better) result.
A better way to look at change is to view it as “building a better mousetrap.” If what you’re doing right now has not helping you reach your full potential, then you might need to revamp your training and keep an open mind to changes needed for a greater likelihood of future success.
Why change is necessary
As athletes move up the competitive ladder, the need for ongoing, positive growth becomes that much more important. What used to work ends up being a game-plan for the opposition to study, meaning that in order to stay ahead of the competition new ways of thinking and changes in training will likely be required. Change for the sake of change might not be the best move in life, but changes made in order to maximize human potential are always worthy of consideration.
When considering future change it is important to closely examine the past, particularly where things haven’t gone so well. It’s also important to look at things objectively (factually), and temporarily suspend personal feelings and emotions while going through this self-analysis. Athletes who discipline themselves to think clearly make amazing discoveries, and often use what they learn to develop future goals for success. Turn off the phone, shut off the music, and just think…
The same methods will bring the same results…
One popular saying is “If you keep on doing what you have always done, you’ll keep on getting what you have always got.” Translated, this means that it should be no surprise that by using the same methods and approaches, you will almost certainly get the same results. While that might sound like common sense, you might be surprised at how regularly we as humans try to pull this one off —- meaning that many of us try to change as little as possible but with the hopes that it will be enough for massive, positive future change and growth. Instead, focus on the end goal and try to find ways to enjoy the process involved with reaching your full potential.
Keys to making sensible, positive change:
- Be open. Don’t look for only what you want to hear, but instead seek to understand everything about your game that you can – both good and bad. Ask yourself powerful questions, and take responsibility for your previous actions.
- Collect objective measurements. Pay special attention to objective data (i.e. amount of points you score, weight you lift, etc), while minimizing subjective feedback including rumors and hearsay. Also, try to evaluate tends over time rather than just single bad days that could have occurred randomly.
- Seek additional opinions. Ask credible people in your life to be candid and honest when it comes to suggestions that can help you improve your game – then listen closely to what you learn.
- Develop future goals based on findings. As you learn more about the areas you can improve, draft specific, measurable, controllable goals to help with future success.
- Measure progress along the way. Make it a point to measure your progress as you work toward your goals, and one great way to do this is to keep a running journal.
What tips helped you maximize your athletic talents? Please share your thoughts that might help other athletes, coaches, and sports parents.