Can you stay at the top?
Can you stay at the top once you have reached it? Getting to the top of your sport is not a race, it is not about who gets there first, it is who can stay there once they have reached that level. I work with many high school athletes who are so focused on how they compare to their teammates in their development. They worry that someone is faster then them or stronger then them when they are 15 years old. When no one has yet reached their physical peak. There are so many instances of athletes getting the scholarship or drafted number one who never play. And there are those who go undrafted or are walk ons on their college team and have long successful careers.
No matter how long it takes you to get to the top of your sport, it is more about can you stay up there then how fast it took you to get there. So how do you stay up there once you have gotten to the top, well that is all about discipline and loving the routine of the game, practices, workouts and overall entire aspect of the lifestyle you have to live to be there.
When discussing a common thread to some of the most elite players to have played past the age of 40 in The NHL, head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights, Peter DeBoer has been quoted as saying, “What they all have is a love of the game, they love the routine of the game, the practicing, being in the dressing room and the weight room. If you don’t have that passion, you can’t play at their level.” (From USA today article on NHL player Joe Thornton)
Where I see many athletes struggle is with this routine, and loving every facet of the game they play and what it takes to be great. If you can’t love the process you will struggle to not only get to the top but you will struggle even more to stay there. Find ways to enjoy the process, to love the environment, and to learn to focus on constant improvement rather than specific outcomes. That is what it takes to continue to work hard and have a long career.
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Mindfulness Certification
TAIS Assessment Certified