For athletes, the unexpected, while thrilling, demands proper preparation to be successful. Liberty Mutual Insurance, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, offers the following helpful tips and tactics for preparing for the unexpected.
In sports, there is one given – expect the unexpected.
As fans, this excitement of not knowing what will happen next is a big reason why we attend, watch and talk about sporting events. For athletes, the unexpected, while thrilling, demands proper preparation to be successful.
From in-season practices to offseason cross training, preparation helps our young athletes build a rock-solid foundation for race-day success. It’s what they do to get ready for competition that often makes the difference when the unexpected happens.
But how can you help your young athletes prepare for the unexpected? How can you convince them of the power of preparation?
· Envision only success. Encourage them to visualize a stress-free, successful performance – no matter what scenario unfolds. By practicing visualization, meditation and other mental training techniques, they’ll give their minds a powerful pre-race workout.
· All-out effort. There are many parts of the competition they can’t control, but they can control their effort and attitude. Remind them that win or lose, what is more important is whether they gave 100% effort!
· Keep at it. Tell them the mind is a muscle. Like any muscle, it has to be exercised to grow strong. And like any other part of their race, the more they work their mind, the stronger it gets, making it easier for them to adjust and adapt on the fly.
· Switch it up. Just like your children can cross-train by playing multiple sports, they can vary and change up their practice routine. They can try practicing with different equipment, or work on using their off hand.
· Situational learning. Encourage your kids to practice in different, even difficult, conditions and situations. Practicing in different conditions will help them adapt to a tough race day environment, challenge their normal routine, and demand focus. Activities like simulating competition day with timing and competition bibs will force them to focus and zone in on performing their best.
With these simple tips from Liberty Mutual Insurance, we hope that your child can always stay prepared for the unexpected.