There are several descriptive ways to say it: Aladdin's Lamp, The Genie, The X Factor, The Game Changer, The Secret Weapon, The Difference Maker, etc. As I write about often what determines greatness on the athletic field and how does your athlete access that on a consistent basis?
Why do some teams seem to have a "magical" season winning all the close games, getting all the calls and all the bounces while others struggle for consistency and success? Why do some players look effortless in their command of the game, displaying exceptional, consistent peak performance game after game while other players hit massive slumps or ride the roller coaster of success and failure almost without warning or reason?
Certainly talent is an important component in the quest for greatness but talent is in no way a guarantee of greatness simply because an athlete is faster, stronger or quicker than others or possesses a greater command of softball specific skills than others.
Certainly physical preparation plays a huge role in determining greatness as success would be virtually impossible in a game as difficult to master as fastpitch softball unless an athlete and team spend significant time practicing the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, pitching and base running.
But here is where the analysis usually ends...with the physical. If we study almost any great athlete we will discover that the one thing that separates him or her from the competition is their mental preparation.
Simply stated your athlete's success and desire for greatness is found between her ears. And her ability to take responsibility for her thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviors is the true secret weapon that either she uses to advance her game or destroy it.
On the field after 600+ games coaching (and countless I have seen on television) I have witnessed some amazing performances as well as pathetic ones from individual players and teams. I always marvel at the unsung hero of the World Series; usually a guy with limited success during the season who transforms himself into a monster when it counts the most. Why does this phenomenon happen so frequently and what creates the World Series greatness? Here are 10 attributes of greatness your athlete needs to demonstrate to become her team's World Series hero:
1. Laser Focus
2. Expectancy for Success
3. Ability to Overcome Adversity Quickly
4. Supreme Self-Confidence
5. Trust Herself
6. Give 110% Effort
7. Super Relaxed
8. Utilize Mental Imagery to "See" Her Success Before it Happens
9. Not Burdened by the Expectations of Others
10. Focus on Their Effort, Not Their Results
All of these ideal attributes require mental skills training in order to be consistent in her approach to the game. These attributes of greatness take time to cultivate and will not happen through physical training alone. Mental skills training can give her the tools to insure her the best opportunity for consistent success and greatness in a difficult game.
The upside of proper mental skills training will be a player who can utilize her secret weapon at will to consistently elevate her game from good to great. Her mastery of the game will accelerate as will her desire and joy for playing it.
Your athlete has a powerful secret weapon located between her ears. Is she using it to insure her greatness?
Happy Thanksgiving and thank for reading!
40% OFF all Winner's Edge Softball products through Sunday, November 27. Just enter the coupon code: thanksgiving2011 at checkout to get your 40% savings! Start shopping now!
Learn more about how your athlete can develop her secret weapon today with The Game Changer Program: A Mental Skills Blueprint to Make Her the Best She Can Be, or John Kelly's new book, How She Thinks is How She Plays.
Check our our new $1.97 Mental Skills Training Audio Lessons. Spend a little, gain a lot!