These choices will determine whether your athlete will be average, good or great. Ultimately these choices must come from her and the results, her performance, will absolutely reflect those choices. So here are five areas in which your athlete's choices are critical to just how far she will go:
1. Effort - certainly effort is always a choice. To a coach nothing is more disappointing and frustrating than seeing an athlete unwilling to leave it all on the field. Good players work hard in practice, taking 25 ground balls. Great players stay late and ask the coach to hit her another 50 grounders. To be a success requires maximum effort all the time. There is no guarantee in the results but her effort will always put her at the top of the list.
2. Attitude - attitude is always a choice and the proper "mental" attitude is necessary to overcome the inevitable adversity the game with throw at your athlete. An attitude of success is also engaging in the right thoughts, expecting success and doing the mental work to come ready to play. The right attitude looks like acknowledging that mistakes are a natural part of the game and an opportunity to learn and get better. The right attitude looks like being a leader and always supporting teammates and respecting the game.
3. Desire - desire is not commonly associated with success, but deep down having a high level of desire is what motivates your athlete to make the right choices that will all but guarantee her success. Desire looks like digging deep after a long day of practice or games to continue to give 100% effort. Desire means loving the game, playing with a smile on her face, with passion, with hustle. Desire becomes infectious on a team and any coach loves any athlete that plays with a high level of desire. Desire is the fuel for the intensity it takes to become a champion.
4. Focus - this can be a hard one for young athletes; particularly girls who love to chat it up early and often on the field. However, your athlete's ability to understand and implement laser focus and concentration is the single biggest choice she will make as an athlete. The game of fastpitch softball is too hard and too fast to not demonstrate focus. And this choice of focus starts in practice. If your athlete and her team are not exhibiting focus during practice my guess is they won't be able to during games. Focus is the ability to block out the world and have the present moment awareness necessary to successfully complete the task at hand.
5. Goals - goal setting and creating a definitive "plan" for success is absolutely a choice. For younger players this choice might look like committing to a certain number of hours of practice, or swings in the cage, or pitches per week. For older players it looks like setting specific goals for both physical and mental training, and writing in her softball journal to measure her progress towards achieving her goals. Success is not an accident. having a plan and goals means approaching success by design and not default. Having a clear road map is both smart and necessary to become great.
The path to success is easy to identify, as I have given you a glimpse of in this post. It is, however, much harder to implement. It takes making the right choices, which may be difficult for your athlete some days or all the time. However once she recognizes that she does have the power to dictate her softball destiny through the choices she makes your athlete will be empowered to seize her opportunity for greatness! Carpe Diem (seize the day).
The game is 90% mental. How much do you invest in her mental game? Give her The Game Changer Program...it will change her game forever!