Focus On The Family Gift Guide For 2 Year Olds Some Common Pre-Game Mistakes (Made by Friends, Family and Even Coaches)

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Some Common Pre-Game Mistakes (Made by Friends, Family and Even Coaches)

When I attend a sporting event, whether it’s a little league game or a professional competition (and all levels in between), I see many people discounting their athlete’s preparation. I’m not talking about members of the opposing team, but rather well-meaning friends, family and coaches.

Just because “everyone” does something or it’s how they did it when you played, doesn’t mean it was ever effective. Many things that were commonly practiced are considered ridiculous years later. For more than 3000 years, people have believed that leeches cure most diseases. Less than 50 years ago all flight attendants were fired on their 32nd birthday.

Probably the most common thing I hear is people wishing athletes “Good luck” before the start of the event. This is diametrically opposed to the proper mindset an athlete needs to perform at a high level. When you tell them to rely on luck, you diminish all the work they have done to prepare for their competition. If all you need is luck, why bother practicing and developing your skills?

An athlete must learn to focus on the things that are in their control and luck is not one of those things. I don’t believe in luck in the traditional way people see it. My definition of luck is: ‘What happens when preparation meets opportunity.’

Since you cannot control when an opportunity will present itself, it is best to focus on your preparation, that way when an opportunity does come, you can take advantage of it. I have met many athletes who have told me they are unlucky. I found that they had opportunities but they didn’t do the necessary work to take advantage of those opportunities when they came.

The second most common thing I hear is people proudly saying, “Do your best.” This phrase can even be more harmful, because no one hears those words and thinks, “I’m going to go there and give everything I’ve got today.” The way the brain processes that sentence is not a reason to give it your all, but rather an excuse to underperform. It turns their focus away from performing well and onto appearing to give effort. They tell themselves that there’s no way anyone will know if I gave it my all, so if things go south, I can always tell them “I Did My Best”.

What I tell my friends and family to tell their child or friends before a competition is, “have fun.” This does three valuable things: 1) It relieves pressure on the athlete. 2) It takes their focus away from the result; Removing their focus from the outcome allows them to take their mind out of the equation so their body can perform up to the level of the preparation they put in. 3) When you focus on having fun, you’re likely to enjoy what you’re doing. and when you enjoy what you do, you usually perform better.

“There’s no fear when you’re having fun.” – Will Thomas

“When we go out there, we have fun, but we get to work, and I think we’re at our best when we’re having fun. Having fun is key.” – Ezekiel Elliott

You can follow Sam on Twitter: @SuperTaoInc

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