Mentally tough athletes.
Mental toughness starts at home
Mental toughness starts at home.
What if a child grows up in an environment where they get anything they want. They get toys, cars, nice vacations, money, expensive youth club, best education etc. literally, ANYTHING is affordable to them.
At the same time, this child is always protected from hardships and potentially difficult situations. Always protected from getting their “feelings hurt“.
See these Mental toughness KEY questions:
Would this child understand what it means to work hard?.
they are so used to getting anything they want. They expect things to always go their way and easy. ENTITLEMENT !!!
Would they know the meaning of pushing beyond their limits?.
They would push as long as things are easy. They normally do not want to go out of their comfort zone. If they are losing, they simply stop trying.
Are they good team players?
They grew up being the CENTER OF ATTENTION. They are more concerned about the personal statistics and how they look in front of others. Cooperating with others is difficult.
Are they equipped to handle hardships in life?.
They have been over protected from getting their “feelings hurt”. They are going to have a rough time making tough decisions.
This is not a criticism to your current social status. However, it is clear that your environment, family, parents, friends, siblings, neighborhood will be a very influential part of your mental toughness.
The first mental toughness training the child gets is at home.
As a coach, I analyze the athlete’s mental tendencies. I often wonder why some amateur goalkeepers struggle mentally. My answer always leads to their environment or home training.
I also see hundreds of goalkeepers and athletes who feel entitled where things must always go their way. However, they quickly fall apart when things do not go as they want. In fact, some of them will quit, complain or even cry a lot as soon as they feel things are out of their control or simply out of their comfort zone.
Here’s the bottom line
Most parents will do ANYTHING to help or please their kids. This is what parents feel their duty is. Parents do not want to see their kids struggle or suffer, this is completely natural instinct.
However, this type of overprotection is clearly not going to help young goalkeepers or ANY child get mentally tough. Struggles and tough situation is an essential part of becoming mentally tough.
Many kids are denied an opportunity to struggle and resolve issues on their own. Therefore, ONLY TIME WILL TELL how they’re going to handle very stressful situations in their future life as an adult.
Here is another point to think about:
Kids will do well under tight supervision, such as home, high school teams, youth club teams or organized programs. However, once they leave this comfortable zone where they are heavily supervised, some of these kids struggle terribly.
As a coach, my job is to educate, develop and enhance the goalkeeper’s physical & mental abilities. I do not train athletes or goalkeepers TO WIN GAMES, I train them to help them be SUPERIOR, CONFIDENT & STRONGER ATHLETES/GOALKEEPERS than they were before.
However, this will require our athletes to be comfortable with uncomfortness. Sadly today, more athletes seem to be struggling in the mental area. Therefore, they prefer to do things that are “easy” & with fast results, without the struggles, pain & uncomfortness.
~The world will not STOP SPINNING & wait for you to be comfortable. The Universe does not care about “HOW YOU FEEL”. Therefore, if you want to learn how to be mentally tough, you have to embrace struggles and failures with grace & humility ~ZL
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