Athlete: Are you a High Maintenance Player?

As an athlete, part of being responsible means learning everything your coach is teaching to you and applying it during games.  This also involves keeping yourself mentally ready to continually apply what you’ve learned.

Good job, Geraline!

It’s okay, Geraline!

Coach, was I supposed to run through on that play?

Coach, was I supposed to switch on that defense?

Keep your head up, Geral!

Don’t quit, Geral!

Above are some of the questions I have asked, and some of the things my coaches have said to me to boost my performance in various games.  At one time or another in my career, I was asking too many of those questions, and requiring my coaches to make too many of those type statements.  During those times, I felt like I needed constant praise, motivation, and guidance from my coaches in order for me to play well.

Those times clearly showed that I was once a high maintenance athlete.

Like a lot of players, I didn’t realize that game time is when your coaches strategically use what they have taught you, to win against competitors.  It is not the time to teach you what you should already know.  Therefore, explaining to you what you should be doing, and constantly trying to find ways to boost your self-esteem is not an efficient use of their time and energy.  It interferes with their focus which is to concentrate on how to defeat the opposing team.

Over time, I learned that the players that play the most, and the most desirable, are those who don’t require so much of their coaches’ attention.   They are the athletes that have a never give up attitude, and they learn what they need to know and execute it without making many mistakes. These athletes can be trusted to not give up when their team is behind, and they will give their all without having to be constantly encouraged to do so.

Therefore, I encourage you to become a desirable athlete by finding ways to motivate yourself. Learn what is required of you by your coaches during team practices.  Realize that sometimes it is necessary for you to take time outside of practice to learn what you need to do for competition.

Exercising these principles will help you become ready to compete physically and mentally without relying so heavily on your coaches.

How to do you stay motivated?

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