MIKE JACOBS: Tips on how to handle setbacks

June 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

As most of the youth sports seasons wind down for the start of the summer, it is not uncommon to reflect back on the season that was through critical lenses.

Whether it be as an individual player, a coach, or a youth sports parent with your own child, it’s important to think of some of these keys when reviewing the past season or preparing for the upcoming one.

n ‘Chief Energy Officer’ vs. ‘energy vampire’: Acclaimed author Jon Gordon wrote about the importance of this in best-selling ‘The Energy Bus’. An ‘energy vampire’ has the potential to sabotage themselves and their team with negativity, complaining and excuses. A CEO or ‘Chief Energy Officer’ is one that shares positive energy and encouragement with their team.

It’s amazing what positive energy can do for one’s own performance, be it individually or as a member of a team. When reflecting on performance from the previous season, it’s always helpful to start with the factors that a player can control, which is their own attitude and their own effort.

n Learn from previous experiences: Knowing that most seasons end in a playoff format, the reality is that very few players and teams are able to end their season with a victory. Despite the disappointment that ending a season can bring when the last time you walk off the field is in defeat, it is important to be able to reflect positively on the individual and team growth throughout the year. It’s equally important to draw from the adversity in a loss and learn from that experience. Great athletes draw strength from adversity, and choose to stay positive to help prepare for victory in the future.

n Whose fault is it?: It’s really hard to accept a less than satisfactory performance, and in most cases, it is much easier to blame someone else. Whether it is the coach, teammates, or an official, shirking responsibility and placing blame on another is a much easier out. Successful players who are able to grow understand that when a mistake is made, that they will own it and seek to improve.

n’Training’ versus ‘practice’: In most cases, athletes ‘practice’ as a team, and ‘train’ on their own. More strides in individual development happen during the offseason than in any other time. Special athletes will take advantage of finding time to both recharge their batteries while also making strides in individual skills and other areas of needed improvement.

n Seek an evaluation from a credible source: Out of every source available to an athlete, their parent is not always the most objective reference point. Knowing that, meeting with a coach to gain insight into what areas of improvement should be a priority. Huddle with a credible source that can provide a map of where you are, and where you need to go.

n Be patient: Realize that as you start working on improving on specific areas, that change will only happen in increments; many improvements that are made are in areas that are habit-forming. And to build good habits, they need to be done with repetition and over a period of time.

I always look forward to the start of a training camp because that is when you can normally see which players have taken full advantage of the opportunity over the summer or during the offseason to grow and improve their fitness, strength and attitude.

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