Athletes. It’s been an interesting, and sometimes difficult, few years. You’ve been asked to pivot on a dime as the regulations have shifted. We’ve all had to adjust quickly.
As we ease into 2022, we want to remind you:
- Keep connected to your teammates.
Never forget that you’ve got each other, both in the game and out. That’s the magic of sport. We get to create community and community helps one another. Reach out and check on your teammates.
- Stay engaged with your skills.
We may be limited in our practice or game time for the moment, but there are all kinds of ways we can stay sharp in our skills at home. It’s not only going to make it easier to slide back into play, but keeps us connected to the game that we love.
- Use your skills out in the wider world.
Never forget that as an athlete you are training in much more than technical skills. You’re gaining valuable life skills; discipline, perseverance, self-improvement, leadership. Take those advantages and use them in the other areas of your life. Show discipline in tackling difficult school work. Help a friend persevere through a tough time. Find avenues for your leadership in your communities.
- Find the positive.
How often do you assume the worst? People often say expect the worst, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you succeed. However, pessimism can undermine your performance. Take note of all wins and positives and you’ll notice it more often.
- Embrace the unknown.
No matter how talented, smart, or capable one is, we cannot predict or control everything. All we can truly control are our own responses. Let’s decide to take on this moment with positivity and help those around us who need a little “pick me up” so they come along with us.
Coaches. These pandemic years have affected you too. We’ve heard from many of you and have a few extra reminders for those of you in leadership positions:
- Recognize the pressure is real.
Your role has suddenly expanded to include all kinds of things you’ve never had to consider before; responding to health protocols, managing the adult conversations that ultimately affect our young athletes, and responding to all of the individuals who count on your decisions. Give yourself a pat on the back for absorbing the added pressures and take time for yourself, as needed, to stay balanced.
- Monitoring team culture is key.
Even if you aren’t playing at the moment, it is more important than ever to keep a pulse on the team's well-being. During last year’s shut downs, we noticed impacts in the areas of fatigue and pressure. Whether you are using the HONE platform or not, be sure that you are staying tapped into how the group is managing overall by checking in and staying available.
- You’re not expected to handle this alone.
In everything we recommend to athletes, the same can be directed to you. How are you faring in connection? Fatigue? Pressure? Do you have trusted peers that you can share and discuss how to handle the current situation? Would you benefit from connecting with a mental health professional? Regardless of our role in the hierarchy, we are all still human and support can be beneficial at key times.
Let’s make 2022 an excellent learning moment for us all, athletes and coaches alike. Keep moving and let’s support one another. That’s what teams are for.
HONE Athletics wants you to know: we're here to support you through times exactly like these.
Would you like to share these tips with YOUR athletes?
We have created a pdf that you can download and share directly with your teams. Feel free to email it in its entirety to your players, or text a tip at a time or post it to your TeamSnap account. However you feel best to share the information!