This blog was designed to aid in the promotion of attitudes that support a more intrinsic purpose behind sports participation, especially in youth, high school and collegiate sports. And to spark interest in my forthcoming book "Becoming a True Champion: Achieving Athletic Excellence From the Inside Out," which has the same general purpose, along with giving athletes the tools they need to become successful.
As discussed in Part I: Consistent High Levels of Performance: How It’s Done, many athletes set long-term goals that encompass what they want to accomplish by the end of a season, in high school, college, and/or even beyond, but how many set daily training goals that they vehemently and relentlessly pursue? And how many, once they can consistently and easily accomplish those, challenge themselves further by increasing their expectation of how well these daily training goals are performed? Maybe even combining two or three skills into a group of skills relative to how they will be used when competing, thus, demonstrating a true commitment toward mastery and reaching one’s potential. From what I have gleaned through my experiences as an athlete, coach, teacher, and parent of two club/high school/collegiate athletes, there are not many athletes who have these types of expectations.
In my blog Four Attributes That Lead To Athletic Greatness I discussed, in detail, attributes that athletes need in order to achieve greatness. It was in that article I alluded to the idea of being able to achieve elevated levels of performance on a consistent basis as one way athletic greatness is demonstrated. I am certain that many athletes, no matter what level, can remember a time, or times, where they felt they had competed at peak levels. In the “zone” you might say. However, how many can remember doing it regularly or most of the time? How many can truly consider themselves one of those rare individuals their teammates count on to give their best and perform at their best, consistently? Easy to assume you can, much tougher to actually go out and do both.
It has only been recently, within the last decade or so, that some high school athletes are choosing to play their favorite sport exclusively for their club team, forgoing the experience of high school competition altogether. The purpose behind this centers on the idea that the training offered through a club atmosphere is needed in order to reach higher competitive levels, and the scholarship that some seek. Whether this is true or not (something I won’t debate here), either choice will bring positives to the table for the high school age athlete. Nevertheless, as it is with most choices one makes, there is almost always something one loses along with the objectives that one gains. This holds especially true in the case of an absolute such as playing solely for one program to the exclusion of the other.