Sport is great, but sometimes coaches can be...well, not so great. It doesn’t matter if you are playing professionally, or for your local club, there is one thing that gets to all of us: coaches’ expectations. Coaches obviously want us to be the best, but if we are not careful their expectations start to become overwhelming.
Now when things get like this, we only have a few options: run away and start a new life in Fiji; figure out why we might be feeling so stressed; or talk to our coaches about it.
If you haven’t chosen to escape to Fiji, then start by asking yourself: why am I feeling so stressed about my coaches’ expectations? Often the way we react to expectations is shaped by something else. Do your parents have high expectations of you? Do they get really disappointed if you don’t meet their expectations? If the answer is yes and hell yes, then you might have unsolved issues from your past that are affecting your present. (Welcome to the club). Talking to loved ones, or even therapy, can help with this.
If you feel like it’s not you, and your coach is just a monster, then that’s another story. The two things you need in this situation are clearness and understanding (oh and also communication). In other words, you need to speak to your coach to find out exactly what they expect from you; if you feel like you can’t meet those expectations you need to make that clear to them, so they can help you. Remember coaches are there to help you. If you make it clear that you need help, they are likely to give it to you. Maybe speak to your teammates (if you have any) and see if they feel the same way.
It might be awkward at first but take the leap – it is better than pulling your hair out with stress, trust me.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay A powerful novel about friendship, basketball, and one teen’s mission to create a better life for his family.
Emotions! Making Sense of Your Feelings by Mary Lamia, PhD
This will help you understand your emotions and who you are, how you appear to others, and what you can be. While your emotional life may feel out of control, your emotions are valuable. It's time to figure just what your emotions are telling you!
Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Raymond Obstfeld
A kid from New York City with all the usual problems: he struggled with fitting in and pleasing a strict father. But his talent for basketball with Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Jesse is a really fast runner and breaks so many records. He goes the Olympics in Nazi Germany, to prove racists wrong and show everyone that he's the fastest man alive.
Kicking & Screaming A really funny film about a dad who becomes the coach for his son's soccer team. He ends up expecting a little too much from his players. Enjoy.
The Blind Side
Michael, is adopted by a family who help him overcome his learning problems and become an amazing American football player.
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