Avoid burnout and anxiety from the grind.
Overwhelm, anxiety, and burnout are real risks. And the greater the expectation for high performance, the greater the chances are for these issues to appear. Athletes and parents of athletes are aware of these dangers. Physical and athletic skills are just part of the skill set needed to succeed. Day after day of hard work and discipline is a big part of consistently high performance. It’s what separates plain good athletic ability from professional-level results in competition. Willpower can only take you so far. Eventually, the grind will take you down if you don’t have a strong enough sense of purpose. The more powerful the meaning you can create, the more rewarding the grind.
Create meaning behind rest and recovery.
Learn why you should grant yourself the permission to slow down and carve out the time to recharge. It may seem like you can push through things, and as athletes, we are good at that. In the short term that is absolutely possible, but if you are training for the long game, rest and recovery are what will make the journey one that you can enjoy.
Coachable athletes excel. Self-awareness creates coachable athletes.
We all have our blind spots. We all have aspects of our behavior and our mindset that is glaring to others yet invisible to ourselves. Using the Johari window model can help identify these aspects for the person involved. When they see it for themselves, people gain the self-awareness that’s crucial to any real improvement.
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Focus on the journey, not the destination.
The vast majority of people who have successfully pushed beyond their limits attribute their success to being able to focus on the journey. Stranded mountain climbers left for dead recount how their complete focus was on mustering all their strength to make the next step. They describe how trying to imagine the thousands of steps between them and survival would have driven them crazy. Learn to focus on the next big thing.