Learned helplessness happens when we don’t believe we have the ability to change our world & that external forces are against us. If that’s true, we wouldn’t bother to learn or practice anything. We can change our destination, but sometimes we have to turn the corner to meet the success that awaits those who persist.
We need to help our youth athletes develop and use the skill they have, but it means nothing unless we help them know how to use the skill. If we don’t help them develop that side of their game they will forever be building on less than ideal foundations. This is true in sport and life.
If we want to see development, praising a kid for being fast or for looking flashy but losing the ball 9 times out of 10 isn’t going to help. We need to reward the new behaviours, the growth, and the understanding of teamwork.
There is a fine line in superstition. It has to be believed for it to work, but it can’t be given the full power of determining victory or defeat or there is no point practicing. For Skinner’s pigeon the superstition worked, but only when it worked a little harder, went a little further, and did just a little more that it did last time.
Life comes at us fast and there are many moving parts. Sometimes we can’t factor everything in and things go wrong. As long as we are aware things may go wrong, we won’t get rattled when we have to change our path a little. Stay flexible and open to reevaluation.
If you focus on simply fixing the problem you are discounting any other potential paths you can take. Keep your eye on the goal and find solutions, use your energy to get to your destination.
If you are struggling today be on the lookout for the one person who encourages you and won’t let you fail. If you are in a position where you see someone in need, help them. You may be that one person who helps them change their life and become something more than they ever thought they could be.
Mental toughness is a learned process in which an individual learns to overcome adversity, stand up against the opposition, and the build the belief they can rise to the challenge of achieving their goals.
Coaches create lifelong memories. Our kids today are playing games they will remember for the rest of their lives, and I hope that when it comes to my son he is able to remember the games he gave everything, when he tried new things that came off, and that the score doesn’t take away the feeling of achievement if it’s a game the team lost.