Nov 22, 2011 3:02 PM
What defines greatness? We could all probably write a laundry list of traits and factors that we each believe to be the causes for greatness. However, sometimes we look beyond the most obvious factors...the ones that will really make the difference between good and great.
At practice last night I told both my teams, in essence, what I am writing about today; that each of them could be great if they only focused on doing the following:
1. Pay Attention (A.B.L.L. - Always Be Learning & Listening) - During practice my teams were hitting live and the dozen or so girls who were not hitting or in the field were confined to the dugout for safety reasons. Sadly I had to remind them not to turn their backs on the action on the field and yack away, but rather turn around and see what they could learn by watching and observing. Fastpitch softball is a game of subtle nuances that take a long time to learn. By being a student and always paying attention your athlete can master those nuances and her game far quicker than the average athlete with her back turned...guaranteed! This included listening to her coaches...ALWAYS.
2. Give 100% Effort...All the Time - As I always write about...your athlete's work ethic can set her apart in the eyes of her coaches, her teammates, her opponents and the recruiters. And this 100% "leave it all on the field" effort starts in practice, whether on her own, with private coaches or in her team practice. Becoming great takes an certain attitude, a personal drive that pushes her beyond what any other player is doing. If she can challenge herself every time she practices to go beyond what she did the day before she will absolutely exhibit greatness on game day.
***As an important caveat it's crucial that your athlete recognize that she is a unique individual with unique talents. As such her greatness may not be her best friend's greatness. She should strive to be the best Megan (whatever her name is) she can be and not compare herself to any other player.
3. Mental Focus - As a coach nothing is more frustrating than seeing a player fail simply because she was distracted or simply not prepared for the ball to be hit to her, or prepared properly for her at bat or time in the circle. Mental focus is always a choice and 90% of all mistakes on the field are do to a simple lack of mental focus. Mental discipline or "toughness" defines all great athletes. if you athlete can cultivate this focus she will leap frog 80% of the girls in the sport on her way to the top of the recruiting list!
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For more mental performance info and tips visit me at: John Michael Kelly Sports.