Mental Strength Training for Athletes: Fully Commit
What does full commitment look like? To help illustrate what full commitment looks like I want to use the example of the Vikings. When the Vikings arrived to their destination they would burn their boats. That is how committed they were to what they set out to do. They didn't give themselves an out when things weren't looking good. They had no choice but to storm forward. This is what full commitment looks like. However, all too often I see and hear the opposite. Athletes metaphorically keeping their boats ready to turn and go back. One foot in and one foot retreating.
Why does this happen? Why do some athletes struggle with fully committing? A lot of the time it is the fear of fully committing to something and it not working out, and if this occurs then thinking the time spent pursuing it was a waste of time and worthless. So in not putting forth everything they can towards something they give themselves an out, the ability to say well I didn't put my full effort into it, so that is why it didn't work out. That is preferable to trying and the results don't fully reflect what they wanted.
By doing this an athlete guarantees most likely not succeeding and looking back and regret one day thinking about what could have been if only they had actually tried harder. We can't control the results and outcome, but we can control our effort. It is never a waste of time to fully commit to something. What we learn through doing something, and showing the energy, drive, and commitment required is transferable. So even if we don't continue with a sport beyond high school or college, we gain so much from doing so that will go with us into other areas of life.
It takes a lot of grit to fully commit to something and see it through till the end. Mental skills are no different than other skills, and one of the reasons why athletics is so important in childhood is because of the characteristics and mental skills ones gain from doing them. It is a very small percentage of high school athletes that go on to D1 and even smaller who play professional. So if that is your goal and all of a sudden it starts to look like that is not possible, if you gave everything you had to be the best you could be then whatever you developed and learned through the process will aid you long after you stop playing your sport.
So jump with two feet in, and know that fully committing to something is never a waste of time, and will give more than you can possibly imagine.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification