053 - what happens outside of and after sport?


I freaking love Michael Gervais, he's a sports psychologist and currently works with Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. He runs his own podcast " Finding Mastery" and in a recent episode he sat down for a conversation with UC Berkeley Rugby Coach Jack Clark, who's been coaching them since 1984...

During the conversation, a topic was brought up that I'm incredibly passionate about and something that not enough coaches are thinking about or doing well (if at all) these days - thinking long-term and aiming to help set these kids up for success outside of, and after, sport, not just inside it right now

What I mean by that is, they're not considering or trying to help with all of the things that are happening at school, in their families/social lives, and thinking about the bigger picture once sport leaves their lives from an "I'm an athlete" perspective

Coaches can become so narrow-minded, seek instant gratification and let our egos/our wants cloud or thoughts and judgements, and it's to the huge detriment of these phenomenal kids we're blessed to be helping

An all-encompassing and holistic approach needs to be taken when it comes to the long-term development of these next generations; not just from a sporting perspective but from a life and a personal perspective too

How can we help them shift their perspectives of themselves and their potentials/limitations at school...
How can we help them overcome their social dynamics and the role they think they play within them and the world...
How can we help them think about and discover what they'd love to do outside of their sport...
How can we set them up for success in life which, in turn, will set them up for success in their sport...

The funny thing is, you'll find that these challenges they're facing in life are being brought into their training and games even though they don't want too. And as a result, their mind isn't on the task at hand and it affects their performance

It's affecting the athlete they're becoming as we're neglecting the individual and the person they currently are...

 

 

Think about it... we have the opportunity to teach them about time management, setting priorities, believing in themselves and their abilities, work ethic, working in a team environment, how to make sacrifices, how to overcome pressure and fear, how to work & interact socially; how to reflect, set goals and handle failure + defeat, and so on...

Brett Bartholemew, S&C Coach and author of "Conscious Coaching " understands this better than most and knows that it's the relationships we form with athletes that matters most at the end of the day. If they don't click with you or buy into/believe in you - then it's never going to work. And there's no better way to do this than to see them for the person & the individual they actually are, and helping them with that...

And that's why the pressure is all on us to help whoever we're blessed to get the chance to help

The truth is, we need to pull from diametrically opposite sides of the equation. That is, we need to help them tie their identity into becoming the athlete they aspire to become and achieving those feats they want to achieve... but we also need to help them see for themselves that there is more to their life than sport and help them develop themselves as a person first and foremost, knowing that the "athlete" part of sport is such a small section of the equation overall (afterwards they can stay in their sport in a variety of roles, just not as an athlete)

Think about it, we can use this vehicle of "sport" they love so much to teach them about life. And instead of focusing solely on developing them as an "athlete", we should instead be seeking to develop them as a person first and foremost

How can we be using this time we have with them inside of sport, to prepare them for that and for their time outside of/after sport? What does this child need help with the most right now, and how can I place myself in a position to help them?

They're the questions I'll be asking myself most in life when it comes to each individual YA + A I'm blessed to come across and have the chance of helping - as this level of love, guidance and support is what they wholeheartedly deserve


Actionable Tips + Questions:

  • There's none for you YA + A's today - but perhaps think about what areas of life you're challenged in at the moment, and are you taking it into your training/sport with you?

 

Nick Maier