Jan 14, 2012 7:15 AM
As fastpitch softball players begin preparing themselves in the weeks and months ahead for the 2012 season one thing is clear...each player will choose by their beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions just how successful her season will be. Will hers be a memorable season, one that sets her apart from the majority of the team as a true game changer...or will her season look much like the previous season in which she has occasional flashes of greatness but for the most part blends in with the rest of her team as an average player.
As I write about in my books the goal of being her best looks like being a consistent peak performer, but being consistently great is no easy task. It takes a high level of both physical and mental mastery to, not only, overcome the adversities the game throws at her but to actually thrive in the face of adversity.
In this three part series I will go into great detail of what it will take for your athlete to truly become a "no limit" athlete; where all things are possible for her. In my heart of hearts I believe that every young athlete can be as good as they want to be. Yes, for some that path may be shorter than for others. Nonetheless, I will explain exactly how to become a "no limit" athlete in three parts: "The Physical," "The Mental," and "Putting it All Together."
The foundation for any "no limit" athlete is to recognize the factors they do and do not have control over. One's effort, attitude and mental focus are certainly controllables. We know that no two athletes have exactly the same bodies and physical skills, so what can your athlete do become a "no limit" athlete in the physical sense?
1. Develop a detailed physical training plan. Know her strengths and weaknesses. Does she need to improve her strength, her speed, her quickness, her command of sport specific skills? Make sure her physical training plan puts her on track to turn her physical weaknesses into strengths.
2. Mastering the physical is a choice that requires hard work. How committed is she to getting stronger, quicker, faster? Is she putting in the 30-60 minutes each day to work on her weaknesses? Most players don't. Once her regimen becomes habit she will see massive improvements that will catapult her game performance.
3. Believing the physical training is working. Because a well designed physical training program will be physically and mentally fatiguing your athlete has to believe that all her hard work is paying off. Her belief will motivate her to work harder and stay on schedule. This also requires patience as all physical improvements develop slowly but surely. Remember, a little improvement each day over time equals massive growth!
|Michael Jordan, the ultimate "No Limit" athlete!|
4. Doing more game related repetitions. This may sound like a simple task, but in my experience few girls ever do it. This looks like grabbing mom or dad, sister or brother, a teammate or neighbor to help with 100 grounders each day, 100 swings each day, as a pitcher throwing 100 pitches each day; as a catcher blocking 50 balls and making 50 throws to 2nd and 3rd base (and if not each day at least three times/week). Softball is a game of reps, so the more she takes outside of her regular practice the more her mastery will accelerate. Is all this easy to do combined with school work, other sports and a social life? Perhaps not...but again the choice is hers as to how good she wants to be. A "no limit" athlete makes the time.
Thanks for reading! -- John Kelly, Softball Smarts