Sports 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 flee 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 our upbringing. 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 unresolved 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 dictator, then that’s another story. The two things you need in this situation are transparency and clarity (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.
Managing Expectations: A Mindful Approach for Achieving Success by George Pitagorsky Success is measured in how well and regularly you meet expectations - both your own and those of anyone who has a stake in your performance.
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.
Young Jesse Owens becomes a track and field sensation . With guidance from coach Larry Snyder, Owens gains national recognition for breaking numerous records. He the Olympics in Nazi Germany, to show Berlin and the the world that he's the fastest man alive.
Whiplash Andrew enrols in a music conservatory to become a drummer. But he is mentored by Terence Fletcher, whose unconventional training methods push him beyond the boundaries of reason and sensibility.
The Blind Side
Michael, a homeless African-American teenager, is adopted by a Caucasian family who help him overcome his learning difficulties and achieve excellence in American football.
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