Drive – The ultimate athletic attribute and mental skill


Why do some athletes consistently excel when the game is on the line or when the “pressures” of competition seem to be the strongest, while under the same conditions others are inconsistent or are sometimes at their worst? Why are so many athletes often performing better in training than in competition? And what is the one thing in sport that most often separates the winner from second place? For so many athletes, the answer to these questions is no mystery – the difference is in the incredible 3 1/2 pounds of electrical energy, power, and potential between our ears – our mind. The goal of almost all mental training exercises and advanced performance skills is to strengthen and improve calm, focus, and confidence. These three peak performance “Cs” have the ultimate influence on athletic performance. Plot the root of almost every positive or negative sports performance experience and you will find one or more of these variables. But there is another “C” of peak performance that is just as important – and that is our commitment or our motivation. The great Bill Russell, one of the greatest winners in the history of any sport – winning 11 NBA championships in 13 years – once said that “the heart of a champion is about the depth of our commitment” .

Of all the accolades and sports writer’s superlatives used to describe Miami’s inaugural NBA Championship, most focused on Dwayne Wade’s incredible drive to win, energize, and commitment throughout the series. He certainly deserves praise. His total of 157 points in the last 4 games including the MVP of his final with 36 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 league bouldering wins makes him worthy. Yet, taking a closer look at Dwayne’s career, we find that the real reason behind Miami’s inaugural NBA Championship has as much to do with his approach and commitment to his career as the heroism of his NBA Finals. In just 3 short years, Dwayne increased his career scoring average from 16.1 to 27.2 pts. per game. His% FT went from 74.7% to 78.3%, his% FG from 46.5% to 49.5%, his steals from 1.4 to 2.0 per game and his rebounds from 4.1 to 5.7 per game – all with only a minor increase in minutes per game. game played. These kinds of results and improvements are not the result of trips to the mall, fancy restaurants and lazy afternoons at X-Box. These types of improvements are the result of blood, sweat and tears in empty gyms with a serious commitment to athletic excellence and continuous improvement. As reporters, fans, NBA GMs, and coaches discuss their choice of draft strategy, chemistry, and development, it’s the level of engagement that will ultimately determine the total impact that each player recently selected in the 2006 NBA Draft will have on their teams and the league.

Only winning commitment and motivation will bring out the best in any athlete.

Without a doubt, your level of commitment, often referred to as motivation or motivation, is the number 1 predictor of how far you will travel for your sport – from elementary school to state, to national and world championships, to Olympic gold or Hall of Fame. Motivation predicts how much effort you will put in to improve and excel – both physically (skills and athleticism) and mentally (mental training skills). You could be the most skilled athlete in the world, with the most gifted athleticism, possessing the most natural calm, focus and confidence; and yet, without motivation, all of this means nothing. The talent would be wasted. If you have no desire to achieve excellence in your sport, you never will – it’s that simple. Motivation stems from a deep love and passion for the sport you play and a deep desire to compete. Passion is something that can develop over time or it maybe always has been there – from the first moment you picked up that ball, and the first time you stepped onto that pitch … there was a feeling of something deep inside you coming alive. For some athletes, it’s purely the thrill of competition that makes them feel alive.

But any discussion of motivational levels of playing time should always involve two levels of responsibility – one for coaches and one for athletes. Some coaches are world famous for their ability to deliver the ultimate ‘pre-game talk’ and enjoy watching their teams lock up their opponents with four quarters of impressive intensity. However, the problem that many coaches face is consistency. That same set of ‘magic words’ that worked so well for one game often won’t work for another, and every coach sometimes shrugged their shoulders during an extremely important game asking,’ where in the world is the intensity ? thought we were preparing so well! “This is where the athletes have to take some responsibility.

Maintain engagement levels

The following 3 “ quick ” tips will help any coach or athlete to maintain a fierce intensity level and high motivation level, whether it’s a 6am practice or the biggest game of the year.

1. Inspire the athlete with a vision:

The great essayist Jean La Fontaine wrote “every time the heart is captured, the impossibilities disappear”, and in few arenas this is truer than in the athletic arena. Athletes want to know and need to know exactly what to aim for. As a coach, don’t just ask the athlete to lead – tell them exactly how you want them to lead (on the field? Off the field? Vocally? By action? Teaching? Guiding? By inspiring others? … ..Be specific!). General and non-specific direction leads to “general and non-specific” results. If you are an athlete don’t just talk about the end of year championship … inspire and challenge yourself with very specific expectations and goals that relate to the very specific role you will play in the championship . How will you contribute offensively (what specific skills will you use to contribute?). What about defensively? What is your action plan to develop these specific skills?

2. Set more goals based on “performance” than goals based on “results”:

Performance-based goals relate only to controllable behaviors against results-based goals linked to actual statistics. which are not always fully controllable. For example, if an athlete sets a goal of shooting at 50% of 3pt. Online in the next game, or holding a single-digit high scoring opponent for the game, these factors can sometimes be affected by an opponent’s excellent defensive or offensive performance. Failure to meet statistical goals can be demoralizing and can add emotional pressure to a game or playoff series. That’s not to say that “keeping score” and setting quantifiable goals are the wrong things to do. On the contrary; sometimes this kind of goal setting and monitoring is absolutely essential. However, the majority of goals should be related to “ performance ” so that they are based more on fully controllable elements, i.e. intensity of defensive effort, or quality. the “ look ” or focus the athlete has given to the rim before each shot. . Focus on the variables responsible for 3pt. the shot that actually enters (compared to the result of the shot itself) can often be so much more productive while also easing any additional “pressure” associated with the stats.

3. Inject more fun into practice and games without sacrificing intensity:

As it is often said of many athletes and their relationship with their coach … “if they fear you around you, they will hate you in your absence”. No player has ever given 100% intensity in every game of the season to a coach he hated. Coaches and players alike need to find creative ways to inject fun into a practice or game. Creativity and fun in practice also have an incredible way to counter pressure. Pressure begins and ends in the mind of any athlete, and the physiological reaction to pressure the body feels through muscle tension, short / shallow breathing patterns, and general nervousness is nothing more than the brain affecting the body. Pleasure can counteract stress and the body’s physical response to stress in remarkable ways.

Source by Spencer Wood


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