Sport is not just about winning or losing, but sometimes coaches get lost in this trap. The trap of allowing results determine their self worth, just as players allow their performance to determine how they feel about themselves. Yesterday, I listened to Baroness Sue Campbell at the Global Coach House conference, and she emphasized "Good coaches make good athletes, whereas great coaches make great people". This is everything I believe, and is in line with my philosophy used within my applied psychology work. I had the privledge to listen to many inspiring leaders over the past couple of days who have reinforced my beliefs and also what I teach in my performance psychology practice.
Self esteem is how you value yourself and your evaluation of self worth. I see it frequently, when a young person's self worth is based on their sporting ability. They feel good when they have played well, and feel bad when things haven't went their way. And for maladaptive perfectionists, they probably rarely feel good because of the unattainable expectations they put on themselves.
Society often puts us into boxes, and even in the sports field. I have seen it many times, where an athlete is in a sport for a reason other than enjoyment. Whether it be that their parents like the sport, maybe the parent either succeeded or failed in the sport, or because they feel pressure to play that sport. By allowing young people to make their own choices on their sport, will enhance their intrinsic motivation, and in turn, keep more young people participating.
This goes in line with teaching individuality. Teaching young people to be themselves. I continue to emphasise uniqueness and ways to feel good about being different. To embrace who you are, and be okay to stand out and go against the grain. As athletes, we do that and also as coaches. We may not always conform to the societal norm...work a 9-5 job, go home, make dinner, watch some tv. As athletes, and coaches, we put in time and effort, we miss social engagements, and family events. We get up early to train, we stay up late. We spend money and time trying to be the best we can be. We spend many hours training and competing. We are evaluated constantly and probably constantly evaluate self. So with all of this, the most important thing that will keep us striving for excellence, is to enjoy. To enjoy what we do. To love what we do. To have passion. To feel good as a person. To value self and have confidence, not only in ability, but in ourselves as people. As coaches and leaders, I feel it's our duty to promote good people and I am glad that this is also what the pioneers of sporting change believe too. What action can you take today to promote good people in sport?
I really enjoyed delivering to a great bunch of participants at my most recent performance psychology workshop. I recieved a lot of positive feedback which you can see on my testimonial page.
The participants said by the end of the workshop they were able to: "recognize different levels of confidence and esteem"; "how different factors can effect confidence" and "how to deal with anxiety by turning it into a positive"
It also allowed for participants to "understand their self more, learn new skills and adapt current abilities"
I want to say a huge thank you to all participants and their input and inspiration to each other. Group discussions, and learning from each other was noted as a positive as well it being a laid back and interactive environment. Please see the above photo for participants ideas on building confidence.
I am also thankful for Kate Cooper and the Herballife team being very cooperative with the venue, and providing a great learning environment. I apologise for the little technical glitch, and will have that resolved for the next workshop! Lets continue to work together to ensure people are confident in, not only the things they do, but for who they are.
Life is short. So we are told. And I guess its easy to forget this until we are faced
with catastrophe or timelines. When we only have a couple of days left of something, or when we are faced with trauma. This provokes us to be more conscious of the fact, "life is short". Things
in life, usually the difficult things, freeze us for a moment, and make us reflect. Reflect on whats important to you, your goals, achievements and whether you have did all you want.
Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo coehlo shows this in fine detail. Veronika is a beautiful young woman who appears to have the perfect life, but nevertheless decides to commit suicide by ingesting too many sleeping pills. While she waits to die, she decides to read a magazine. After seeing an article in the magazine which wittily asks "Where is Slovenia?," she decides to write a letter to the press justifying her suicide, the idea being to make the press believe that she has killed herself because people don't
even know where Slovenia is. Her plan fails and she wakes up in Villete, a mental hospital in Slovenia, where she is told she has only a few days to live. Her presence there affects all of the mental hospital's patients, especially Zedka, who has clinical depression; Mari, who suffers from panic attacks; and Eduard, who has schizophrenia, and with whom Veronika falls in love.
During her internment in Villete she realises that she has nothing to lose and can therefore do what she wants, say what she wants and be who she wants without having to worry about what others think of her; as a mental patient, she is unlikely to be criticized. Because of this newfound freedom Veronika experiences all the things she never allowed herself to experience, including hatred and love. In the meantime, Villete's head psychiatrist, Dr. Igor, attempts a fascinating but provocative experiment: can you "shock" someone into wanting to live by convincing her that death is imminent? Like a doctor applying defibrillator paddles to a heart attack victim, Dr. Igor's "prognosis" jump-starts Veronika's new appreciation of the world around her (Wikipedia).
What would you do if you felt you could be free? What would you do if you didn't worry what people thought of you? What would you do if you thought you only had limited time to live?
But I know it is hard, it's hard to do all the things we want over than the things we should. To conform to society, build a reputation, make it in the field you want to be, achieve what you want to achieve.
So what if the world was to be stopped for you? What would you choose? Have you made all the right choices? Have you made all the right choices for you?
We spend days stressing about simple tasks instead of enjoying and having pride in completing them. Or pride in saying,
'yes life is too short and I am going to do what makes me happy'
Life is short. So live your dreams, love unconditionally, seek adventure and new experiences, and most importantly, enjoy!
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.