Like millions of people I have gotten caught up in watching The X Factor. One of the main reasons I enjoy the show is to see the gradual improvement each week of the artists as they hyper-focus on improving their "game" with the help of voice and choreography coaches as well as their celebrity mentor. Last night Simon Cowell, in speaking to one contestant, said she had the "X Factor." That got me thinking about what the "X Factor" is in fastpitch softball that has top college coaches drooling over one prospect and indifferent over another?
To me the "X Factor" is another term for someone having an intangible quality, something unique and special that sets her apart from everyone else. Certainly skill and talent are a necessary part of the mix, but I believe the true "X Factor" for a softball player is not just in the talent but rather how that talent is displayed on the field. Here is what I mean: the top college softball coaches I have spoken with tell me they are looking for a player who plays with consistent intensity, consistent confidence, consistent focus, and consistent joy when playing the game.
In short these top coaches are looking for a "winner," someone who is a game changer whose on the field presence transcends skill and talent alone. These consistent peak performers have a burning desire and passion to be their best. In fact these elite athletes want the spotlight on them, they want the pressure packed at bat because they have supreme confidence in their ability to get the job done!
The "X Factor' in these special athletes really shows up between the ears where they know they may make mistakes or have a poor at bat, but their confidence and expectation for success is so strong any failure or adversity they encounter only motivates them more to work harder to succeed the next time.
These highest recruited athletes are also leaders on and off the field. They always treat their teammates, coaches, umpires, parents and opponents with respect because they honor the game.
To these elite athletes who have the "X Factor" they simply love the game. They will gladly take another 100 grounders or 100 swings, not because it will make them better (which they know it will) but because they really enjoy it. They possess a crazy work ethic which coaches love.
One of the cool things that is so evident in watching a show like The X Factor or American Idol is that you can see with each week how the self-confidence builds in these artists. What started out an an improbable journey for all of them is now a dream come true. The stage fright we saw during the early auditions and first live show has been replaced with supreme confidence. And as their self-confidence has risen so have their performances.
The same is true for your athlete. For her to be the consistent peak performer that top coaches put at the top of their recruiting lists she must develop or display the "X Factor" they are looking for. But don't think for a minute that your athlete has to have the most talent to get noticed because she doesn't. Talent with a poor attitude or limited mental skills mastery will get an athlete no where. If she loves the game and is willing to work hard and display maximum effort, maximum joy and maximum mental focus she can develop her own special "X Factor" that will have coaches nodding there heads.
You see everyone recognizes the "X Factor" when they see it!
Yes the holidays are rapidly approaching and what better gift to give your athlete but The Game Changer Program: A Mental Skills Blueprint to Make Her the Best She Can Be. This is a multi-media program that includes over 6 hours of Audio Lessons covering the 21 Mental Performance Killers that sabotage her success, plus John Kelly's new book, How She Thinks is How She Plays, a 40 page ebook, Think it & Hit It, and a must listen 29 minute bonus Audio Lesson, The Scholarship Game...What You Must Know! You can get The Game Changer Program for about the same amount as a one hour hitting lesson.
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