December 16, 2021
Coach Gad’s continued guide to mental toughness.
Coach Gad is back and continues to take you through his simple and systematic method to help your athlete become mentally stronger. Read more below!
Welcome, everyone! I’m Coach Gad, a former professional athlete & mental performance coach.
If you missed out on my previous post where I covered key#1 in – the four key mindset changes all young athletes need to make ASAP read it here, to get caught up on our journey to help your athlete become mentally stronger.
I wanted to continue to tell you a little bit more about myself, and how I found my path to mental toughness.
After a life-altering injury in my professional soccer career, I found myself with feelings of sadness, anger, and despair.
I figured my first step was to get my brain healthy, so I went to the library daily to learn all I could about the brain. This led me to develop an interest in psychology and ultimately discover the power of sports psychology.
I made a decision to become not just a regular coach, but one that focuses on the mental side of the game. Since then, I’ve won a national championship, three provincial titles, and been recognized with multiple Coach of the Year awards.
Starting the ‘Mentally Tough Athlete’ program.
After creating my own program, I knew that the next step was to get the word out so all athletes, regardless of age and level could benefit from my powerful yet simple methods.
This brings us to today, as we move forward together on understanding the change young athletes need to make and work towards implementing it to improve overall development.
Key #2 here we go…
There are only 3 Things Young Athletes Need to Focus on!
“Never let your emotions overpower your intelligence” – Anonymous
The quote above is much easier said than done, especially when it comes to young athletes because their emotional part of the brain is at least five times more powerful than the logical part.
When players focus on things they can’t control, they generate unnecessary anxiety and doubt. Whether it’s a bad call by an official, a coach’s decision, the behaviour of others, the weather, or the competition, a young athlete is exposed to many potential distractions.
This is why they must build the discipline to focus only on things they have 100% control over.
The good news is, there are only three:
1. Their Physical Readiness
This has to do with an athlete being physically ready to compete. It includes skill training, strength, and conditioning, nutrition, sleep, etc. A player has full control over this aspect, and although skill and strength training is a no-brainer for most serious athletes, they can’t ignore all aspects that prepare their bodies to compete at the highest levels. Athletes need to know what they can improve on in this area, and get to it.
2. Their Effort Level
It shouldn’t matter what the score is. Up by a lot or down by a lot, players have full control of the effort they give all the time. But this also comes into play at practice, during warm-ups, and beyond. Again, this seems like no great revelation, but a young athlete needs to make the conscious decision to give it all they have, no matter the situation.
3. Their Thinking!
It’s the hardest of the three, but there’s no doubt it’s the most important. A player’s thinking affects their feelings, which have a direct effect on their performance. Limiting beliefs produces fear and tentativeness. Having a mindset focused on success will bring about better and more consistent performance. The catch – this part of a young player’s development takes training and time. My goal is to help your athlete to start or to continue to develop their mindset through these articles and other resources.
That’s it, the only three things an athlete needs to focus on!
If their mind is somewhere else, I can guarantee they are wasting their time and energy. By focusing on things they can control, players are able to manage their emotions better. They won’t let nerves, anger, frustration, and impatience overpower them. Instead, they will feel calmer and be more focused on the task at hand.
Make sure your player memorizes the three things they have 100% control over!
There you have it: A look at key mindset change #2 of – the four changes every athlete needs to make ASAP-, so they can become mentally strong.
P.S. – If you’d like to read all of ‘The 4 Key Mindset Changes Your Athlete Needs to Make ASAP’, I have put together a PDF booklet you can read now for free: CLICK HERE to start your child on the journey to gain confidence, stay focused & be resilient!
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To learn more about Coach Gad visit his website here