A mess can become a message. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my mess as a coach becoming my message. I had gone through a difficult coaching experience, wherein I was focused on comparing myself and the program I was running to everyone else; when true competition is competing against yourself to do the best that you can. This experience has led me to the message that is the Heart of a Competitor and the program that is nearing completion.
Over the past year and a half I have had the opportunity to work with athletes and coaches in a variety of sports and it has taken me to a number of different athletic contests. In these athletic contests, the competitive arena, I love to watch the relationship between competitor and coach. The title of coach comes with great responsibility, a responsibility to connect with an athlete and translate your knowledge to their performance. There are a variety of ways to do this, but there is only one time to do it, in practice.
Practice is the coach’s Super Bowl, while the competition should be the competitor’s Super Bowl. The young competitor’s we work with always feel they are being evaluated because they are being recorded and evaluated in competitive situations. Great coaches do record and evaluate game situations, but they use it to teach in practice, not in the middle of a competition.
Using this video in the middle of a competition is a recipe for “Paralysis by Analysis.” Competitive greatness for an athlete is a mind and body connection to perform during competition, leaving the analyzing and judging for a later time. Competitive greatness is not enhanced by being shown where your feet or hands are located at during a movement; competitive greatness is about being connected and focused on performing at your peak.
For all of the competitors that read this message, continue to focus on competing and giving your best effort in the present moment during competitions. Then during practice be focused and connected to your coach and the lessons each of you have learned from competition.
For the coaches that read this message, treat practice like your Super Bowl and connect with and teach your athletes then, allow them to demonstrate their progress and COMPETE in the competition.