There are similar combinations of words which have easily slipped out of almost every parent’s mouth. In this case, something along the lines of “You need to adjust your attitude,” or “I don’t like your attitude.” But have you ever really stopped to consider what skills are required to develop a positive attitude? When it comes to athletic performance, here’s what it entails.
Understanding That Attitude Is a Choice
Athletes each have good training days and not so good training days, games where they are on fire and ones where everything seems to go wrong. While it is easier to maintain a positive attitude when things are going as planned, it gets a bit trickier when your student or their team is having an off day. However, we’ve all met athletes and individuals of all ages who seem to have a positive attitude no matter what. What these stewards of optimism understand is that no matter the circumstances having a positive attitude is always a choice. When it comes to your student athlete, they need to understand that every competitive high and low is an opportunity to learn.
How Your Student Athlete Talks to Themselves Is Important
Let’s face it. Even if we don’t say the words aloud, we all talk to ourselves. Athletes who maintain a positive attitude don’t beat themselves up when they drop the ball, but instead use their words to build themselves up. They often do the same for their teammates. An excellent way to help your children develop positive self-talk is to remind them that if it’s not something they would say to a teammate, friend or loved one, they shouldn’t be saying it to themselves either.
How a Positive Attitude Helps Athletes Manage Anxiety and Emotions
Adopting a poor attitude is a slippery slope, which if not kept in check can compound anxiety and negative emotions. This is not only stressful for your student athlete, but, in almost every case, will negatively impact their performance. This often creates a destructive ripple effect throughout the team — we bet every parent or coach has experienced this firsthand. The more frustrated a player gets during the game the more their performance suffers. By developing a positive attitude, athletes can keep their head in the game. They can channel their energy towards their positive outlook opposed to their negative one and keep their head in the game once they master this skill.
Positivity Starts Well Before the Game
Developing a positive attitude isn’t often a skill taught in school. As sports psychology becomes a greater focus for athletes of all ages and performance levels, we must help our young athletes cultivate and strengthen this skill. One of the most effective methods includes visualization. This could include game-day visualization performed at home or even a guided visualization your Competitive Edge coach talks the entire team through. By visualizing the pursuit of excellence, your child will create pathways in their brain which support their goals and make them easier to achieve. In case you are wondering, sports isn’t the only thing your child can visualize.
It’s inevitable that every athlete will have both good and bad days. It’s also inevitable that even the most optimistic athletes will have days when it’s more challenging to stay positive. While the goal is not 100 percent, it should be far more often than not.
Developing the athletic and life skill of positive thinking is a priority here at Competitive Edge and is worked into all of our programs. Reach out today to learn more about our unique approach to year-round training.
Competitive Edge aims to develop the “complete athlete” using performance sports training in Woodbridge, VA and surrounding areas. Members are able to enhance their athletic performance and develop a competitive edge to excel in their desired sport.