Comfort Zone

From Outside Your Comfort Zone and Into “The Zone”

Your comfort zone is an awesome thing. 

          

You’ll always do something you know and love a lot better than something new and weird and complicated. That’s called the Flow. But you can only flow so much until you need to learn more about the new territory you’re advancing into.

This might seem a bit uneasy at times to a lot more people than you imagine. Including me, including you. The secret stands in planning and preparing.

         Ok, sure, there’s that. Doing homework. Planning something similar to what you did that one time shouldn’t be too hard. Learning about what where you’re going to go, planning what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it. You’ve done this before, it should be like a walk in the park.

            But then, there’s the other thing. How can you prepare something you know nothing about?! The path is to free your mind, become more focused, bring yourself into a proactive, calm and positive state of mind. This is what you should do. People don’t naturally do this. Just by preparing yourself for an event puts you in the right crowd. Then you can just run natural. You’ve already walked the gap.          

Comfort Zone

        We experience new things daily. We just don’t care about them that much to remember. And that’s… Well, that’s a filter, at least, if not something else. But even filters need to be cleaned out or replaced. I suggest you clean up your filters, review your attitude and fears and update your beliefs on a regular basis.

         Apply what you learn into everything you think you know. Compare things, judge them, change your mind a lot, make connections. That’s called learning. The actual learning. Not reading a piece of paper and remembering what’s on it, that’s merely memorizing.

Learning is updating what you already know (or you think you know) about something. We all remember a person we see enough times, a street we cross daily, a song we hear. But learning is getting to know about that person in relation with other aspects of your life, their life and somebody else’s life.

Learning is thinking how that street is linked to other streets, understanding where it starts, what it crosses, and where it ends. Learning is getting to know who’s playing that song, being able to reproduce parts of it, getting the lyrics, getting the beat. That’s learning!

            So is this article is about learning or comfort zones? Yes, yes it is. Comfort = learning + fearfulness. Once you take on your fears, you’re ready to go outside your comfort zone. Ready to flow. For you can only flow into What should you do about your fear of the unknown?


Grow out of it.

            Most of our fears have underlying causes. Fun fact: did you know that every time we think of or remember something, we actually remember the last time we thought of or remembered that? That means that for every time we feared something, we amplified or fearful state many times over. To overcome a fear you need a new perspective. You need a new take on life, on your purpose, on the importance of things, your place in the world.

              The best approach is to take on your fears when you’re not directly confronted with them. Do your homework, research your fears. Ask a friend, get a mentor, maybe call up a psychologist. Then take them down step by step. First step I believe you done it today!

Agree?

 

 

 

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Sport psychology

Sport psychology is Still a Second-Class Citizen in the Sports World.

Whenever I speak to athletes and coaches, I ask them how important the mind is to sport success. With few exceptions, the response is that the mind is as or more important than the physical and technical side of sports.

I am obviously biased given my work in sport psychology, so I won’t take a position on which I believe is more important. But I will say that the mind is an essential piece of the sport performance puzzle.

Consider the top-10 athletes, male or female, in any sport. Are they all gifted? Yes. Are they all in exceptional physical condition? Yes. Are they all technically sound? Yes. Do they all have the best equipment? Yes. So, on game day, what separates the best from those who are close, but can’t quite get to the top? All of these other factors being equal, it must be what goes on in their minds.

I will also add that, in the greater scheme of life, it wouldn’t be difficult to argue that the mental side of sport is vastly more important than physical fitness and technical prowess, at least for young athletes. Why? Because, realistically speaking, relatively few athletes will make to the top of their sport. But, all of the attitudes, mental skills, and life lessons that athletes learn from their sport, for example, motivation, confidence, focus, perseverance, resilience, the ability to handle pressure, the list goes on, will serve them well in all aspects of their lives when they enter adulthood.

Yet, when I ask these same athletes and coaches how much time and energy is devoted to mental preparation, they indicate not very much and certainly not as much as it deserves.

Herein lies my question: Why isn’t mental training treated the same as physical and technical training? To be sure, sport psychology does have a presence in most sports. Sport psychologists work with many professional athletes and teams, as well as Olympic and collegiate teams. And I and many other sport psychologists work with youth programs in many sports around the U.S. and throughout the world.

Yet, when compared to its physical and technical counterparts, sport psychology clearly has  second-class status. While all sports programs and teams at every level of competition have full-time technical and conditioning coaches, few have full-time sport psychologists.

Moreover, when sport psychology is offered to athletes, its presence is usually vastly different from the physical conditioning and technical regimens that athletes benefit from.

Let’s consider what makes physical conditioning and technical development effective and then compare it to the use of mental training in most sports settings today. Two key elements come to mind.

First, when athletes work out, they don’t just walk into the gym and do random strength or agility exercises. Instead, they engage in organized workouts based on a structured program that coaches believe will result in optimal physical preparedness for their sport.

Similarly, when athletes go onto the field, court, course, or hill, they don’t just play around and hope to improve. Rather, they follow a technical progression based on their level of development. In sum, both the physical and technical components of athletic development have an organized program comprised of a framework and process that guides athletes systematically toward their goals.

Second, athletes wouldn’t get more fit if they worked out every few weeks. And their sport skills wouldn’t improve if they only practiced once a month. What enables athletes to get stronger and perform better is that they engage in physical and technical training consistently. Day in and day out, week in and week out, and month in and month out, athletes regularly put time and effort into their conditioning and technical work.

Using these two criteria—a structured program with a clearly defined progression and consistency—it’s pretty obvious that mental side of sport isn’t getting the attention it is due. Yes, many athletes get some exposure to sport psychology either through contact with sport psychologists or directly from their coaches. But, based on my own experience and feedback I have gotten from athletes, coaches, and parents around the country, this exposure, for almost all U.S. athletes, lacks both a structured program and any consistency that is essential for maximizing its value to their development.

So, is there an immediate answer to my original question: Why isn’t mental training treated the same as physical and technical training in sports? I have a few theories.

First, though sport psychology has been a field of study for more than 100 years, it has not been  a traditional part of training for most sports. Old attitudes, habits, and methods die hard and new approaches to improving athletic performance are not easily accepted. Perhaps it will take a new generation of coaches who have been exposed to sport psychology as competitors and then in their coaches’ education for the tide to turn toward wider acceptance and use of sport psychology with athletes.

Second, the reality is that the best athletes in the world have done pretty darned well without formal mental training. They simply developed mental skills through their training and competitive experiences. In contrast, I don’t think there has ever been a successful athlete who didn’t have a rigorous conditioning or technical program (at least not in the last 40 years).

As a result, the need for structured mental training may not seem great. I would suggest, however, that for every successful athlete who develops mental toughness on their own, there are one or more who are equally talented and motivated to become successful, but need help in developing their mental capabilities.

Third, psychology lacks the concreteness of conditioning and technical training. You can readily see the areas in need of improvement physically and technically, for example, amount of weight lifted in the gym or technical problems revealed on video. The mental side of sport is not so easily seen, quantified, or measured. As a result, it’s harder to gauge where athletes are in different aspects of their mental preparation, what areas they need to work on, and any improvement that is made mentally.

Fourth, sport psychology can suffer from ‘guilt by association’ with the broader field of clinical psychology that still carries the stigma that only screwed-up people seek professional help. This perception, however inaccurate it is, can prevent athletes, coaches, and parents from seeing mental preparation for what it is, namely, an essential contributor to sports performance that must be developed proactively. This fear can also scare them away from getting sport psychology help when it is needed.

I predict that it will take some time before mental preparation receives the same attention as its physical and technical counterparts. But, as the stakes get higher and the competition gets tougher, from the development level to the world stage, athletes and coaches will look for every opportunity to gain the competitive edge that separates success from failure.

As the limits of physical conditioning and technique are reached, it will be both natural and necessary to leverage all that sport psychology has to offer athletes. Only then will sport psychology, at long last, stand as equal partners with physical conditioning and technical training as athletes strive to take advantage of every opportunity to achieve success in pursuit of their goals. I look forward to that day.

 

Mental Training For MMA

Prove It To Yourself

Prove it to yourself sometimes is more hard then you anticipate, because life is tough, that’s a given.

When you stand up, you’re gonna be shoved back down. When you’re down, you’re gonna be stepped on. My advice to you doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles.

It’s no secret, you’ll fall down, you stumble, you get pushed, you land square on your face.

And every time that happens, you get back on your feet. You get up just as fast as you can, no matter how many times you need to do it.

Remember this, success has been and continues to be defined as getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down. If experience has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is free and living ain’t easy.

Life is hard, real hard, incredibly hard. You fail more often than you win, nobody is handing you anything. It’s up to you to puff up your chest, stretch your neck and overcome all that is difficult, the nasty, the mean, the unfair.

You want more than what you’ve now, PROVE IT! You want beat the very best out there that is, get out there and earn it!

Once you decide that, you’ll know where it is you want to be, then you won’t stop pushing forward until you get there!

That’s how winners are made. At the end of the day, success is what we all want.

We all wanna win, and the race will be won.

There is no question about that. So c’mon, get out on top, run faster, dream bigger, live better than you ever have before.

This is in you. You can do this. Do it for yourself. Prove it to yourself! 👉🏆

 

 

The published material is the author’s opinion and meets the accepted scientific standards at the time of publication, but science is constantly changing. Therefore HumanPerformancePsychology.com can not guarantee that the information is complete, current, or error-free. The material is not and does not substitute for medical and psychological consultation; so use this material for information only and not for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. If you have any doubts about your health – contact your doctor and psychologist.


*For other questions – ask the author.
*The material presented may be further modified.

 

 

Sport Performance and Mental Preparation

Sport Performance and Mental Preparation

The Most Important Key Questions and Answers on Mental Preparation in Sport Performance 

What unique challenges present the athlete of endurance or multi-sport events?

In the case of single endurance events, such as marathoning, the unique challenge is keep the mind strong and in control when the body begins to break down and rebel against continuing.

Late in long races, for example, after 20 miles of a marathon, the body says, “I get the point, we can stop now.” It communicates this message loudly in the form of pain. If the mind gives in to those messages, then you will slow down or stop, thus immediately failing to achieve your goal.

But if you can ensure that the mind resists those messages and commands your body to keep going, then the body will respond (assuming sufficient fitness and manageable conditions) and you will reach your goal.

Multi-sport events have that same challenge plus the demands of having to master and focus on several different skillsets and physical demands. For example, triathlon requires that you master three different sports (swimming, biking, and running), handle effectively the difficulties of the transition, fuel well with food and drink throughout the event, deal with mechanical problems on the bike to boot.

 

Which strategies have you identified as most beneficial to addressing these performance inhibitors?

The single most effective strategies for dealing with the physical and mental challenges is preparation. When I work with athletes who have a specific race goal, I want them to be able to say to themselves at the start line, “I’m as prepared as I can be to achieve my goals.” Not only does quality preparation ensure that you will be up to the physical demands of the event, but, just as importantly, you will have developed the motivation, confidence, focus, and emotional tools to handle the mental demands of the race as well.

 

How relevant is personality to the selection of strategy or method used?

Personality is a rather amorphous quality. We can’t change personality (and there’s even some question whether we each have only one unique entity called a personality). At the same time, most of us naturally adopt training and race strategies that fit our personality. For example, some of us like to train alone, while others like to be a part of a group.

Some like to be alone before a race to focus on their preparations, while others like to socialize to be keep their minds off of the race and stay relaxed. Over all, though, I focus more on psychological attributes (e.g., motivation, confidence, intensity, focus, emotions) and mental tools than personality.

 

When is intuition more important than strategy (in relation to pushing past your limits)?

Intuition is a double-edged sword. If you are a very seasoned endurance athlete with years of experience under your belt then intuition can be useful and perhaps even trump strategy. But there is a risk that the intuition, for example, to pick up the pace early in a race because you feel good, is based on more immediate feelings rather than what is best for later in the race when it really counts.

Many “newbies” make this mistake and change their race plan midrace and the end result is usually not good. Pushing past your limits should occur in training. In races, you should simply race up to the limit of what your current fitness will allow you to do.

I encourage athletes with whom I work to develop a race plan based on their fitness and then have a plan B if problems arise (e.g., need to slow down because of a headwind on the bike) and a plan C of going faster if they are feeling good late in a race.

 

What is the value of intrinsic motivation and how does it work?

Intrinsic motivation for most endurance athletes should be the only reason to be out there. For Olympic and professional endurance athletes, extrinsic motivation, in the form of the money and fame, can help a little, but even for those athletes, what ultimately drives them comes from deep inside. Parents often provide extrinsic motivation for young athletes and this external push can range from helpful to destructive.

Ultimately, for most endurance athletes, they should be out there because they love the sport, enjoy the challenges, and gain fulfillment from working hard and achieving their goals.

 

For high stress conditions how do you advise athletes prepare?

Preparing for adversity in training is the only way to succeed in the face of adversity in a race. Difficult conditions are not really the issue in a race because everyone has them. The key is how people respond to the stressful conditions. If you have two athletes of equal ability and one sees, for example, rain and wind as a threat that scared and intimidates them and the other as a challenge that they know they can overcome, the latter athlete will be more successful.

Training for adversity has two benefits. First, you gain experience in how to adapt the adversity, so in a race, you can make necessary adjustments to, for example, your cycling or running pace in a headwind. Second, you develop the confidence that you can overcome these challenges so that, in the race, you are motivated and excited when confronted by them.

 

What have you discovered works best for managing emotions?

Endurance sports bring out the most powerful emotions because, late in a race when the body begins to break down, our emotional defenses get peeled away and we feel emotions more acutely than during most other times in our lives. Those emotions can range from very negative (e.g., anger, frustration, despair) to very positive (e.g., inspiration, pride, elation).

The first thing is to accept that all emotions are a normal and healthy part of the endurance-sport experience. Second, to explore the cause of the emotions. Having a Ph.D. in Psychology, I believe that all emotions, especially negative ones, tell us something about what’s going on in our lives. We should consider those race emotions after the race and examine what they mean to us. During the race, emotions can tell us something about how we are doing at that point.

For example, it’s common between 60-90 miles of the bike in an Ironman that you will experience an emotional crisis. This is the point in the race when it hits you that you’ve been out there for many hours already and you are really tired and in pain, yet you also have many more hours (and a marathon) ahead of you. Sadness and despair are typical here.

Experienced Ironmen know two things about this “pit of despair.” First, it will pass at about 90-100 miles as the end of the bike comes into sight. At that point, a sense of relief and elation are common. Second, an emotional crisis is often associated with a nutritional crisis; when you feel that way, force yourself to eat and drink.


Can mental training help enhance recovery for improved performance?

Absolutely. Part of that mental training is having the discipline to allow yourself to recover. Too many highly committed endurance athletes come back to intense training or another ace too soon. They don’t allow their bodies and minds to recovery from the damage incurred

. After a great result, the best thing to do is to direct your focus onto some other valued aspect of your life that you may have sacrificed for your training and race preparations, for example, relationships or hobbies. Also, relaxation exercises can speed the physical recovery. And mental imagery of future races can keep your mind sharp and focused while the body recovers.

 

What role should a coach or trainer play in developing & implementing these techniques into practice?

Ideally, the coach or trainer has experience with the mental aspects of the sport and can build mental training into your regular training, for example, the use of positive self-talk during track intervals or focusing skills when working on technique.

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that few coaches or trainers have that kind of awareness or knowledge of the psychology of sport. It is best to seek out such information yourself in the form of reading, lectures, or direct work with a sport psychologist (there are some great ones in Australia) and then incorporate those strategies into your training and races.

How can an athlete prevent their drive for success leading to burn out or overtraining?

I often work with endurance athletes who are overly motivated; too far isn’t far enough and recovery is for wimps. Ultimately, these athletes will end up injured or burned out. To combat these attitudes, you must realize that rest and recovery is an essential part of training.

I encourage mandatory rest days, required time away from the sport following a big race and, very importantly, for athletes to listen to their bodies. When you are usually very motivated, but on any given day, feel tired and sluggish, you will gain more from taking the day off or doing only a light workout than trying to grind through a hard workout.

 

How often do athletes over-think a situation & is there any merit to the saying “No brain, no pain?”

Many people think that to be an endurance athlete you have to be either crazy or stupid to endure such pain for so long. But most endurance athletes I’ve met and worked with are very intelligent people. The reality is that stupid or crazy people don’t last long in endurance sports because they either get seriously injured or burn out fast. The downside to intelligence is the tendency to overthink, but only a certain kind.

I believe that endurance sports require considerable thinking because they are so complex and so demanding for so long. You must be constantly thinking during training and racing to monitor what is happening. The danger of overthinking is when that thinking shifts from process (i.e., what am I doing now to maximize my performance) to outcome (i.e., what if I win, or lose, or don’t finish, or get beat by my buddy).

Overthinking about outcome causes anxiety, distraction, and doubt, all of which will hurt your performances. As for the adage, “no brain, no pain,” I just don’t think that works in the long run. The reality is that you can’t avoid pain for very long; the body just screams louder and louder until you listen.

Ideally, you should use the pain as information to make changes during training and races. Do I need to slow down? Do I need to adjust my body position? Is this injury pain? Does this pain mean I’m working hard and achieving my goals? Pain can be either a powerful tool for race success or a dangerous weapon for race failure. How you think about it determines which it is.

 

When it comes to dealing with failure or past defeats what is key to remember?

Simple: lessons learned. When you have a bad race it’s natural to be disappointed, but staying that way will only prevent you from overcoming the failure in the future. After a few days, the bad feelings will hopefully pass and then you can ask yourself: What went wrong? With that knowledge, you can make changes in your training or race tactics so you don’t make the same mistake again.

 

Do you have a preferred method of dealing with distractions?

There are several ways to deal with distractions. But first you have to understand how they work. Distractions usually come from a worry or concern you have, whether the conditions, a rival competitor, or a problem you’ve had in the past. Also, you can’t just not think about a distraction (try not thinking about a pink elephant).

First, if the distraction is a problem you have had, find a solution. Problem solved, no more distraction. Second, find something else to focus on rather than the distraction (so think about a blue hippo). We, as humans, can’t focus on more than one thing at a time, so if you’re thinking about a blue hippo, you’re not thinking about a pink elephant.

 

What are top ten barriers to performance and can you list their constructive counterpart?

Not sure I can come up with ten barriers, but here goes:

  1.  Low motivation in training: finding a deep reason to want to work hard and prepare well;
  2.  Lack of confidence: quality preparation, success with adversity, seeing progress in training, support from others, positive self-talk, and incremental success;
  3. Anxiety: relaxation techniques, deep breathing, music, having fun, focus on the process rather than the outcome;
  4. Distractions: mental imagery, keywords, reminders written on your equipment;
  5. Negative emotions: understand where the emotions are coming from, reconnect with positive emotions related to why you enjoy training and competing, look to others for inspiration;
  6. Pain: use pain as information to make changes, connect pain with positive thoughts (e.g., this means I’m working hard toward my goal) and positive emotions (e.g., inspiration, pride);
  7. Poor preparation: quality coaching, structured training program, others to train with;
  8. Going out too hard: have a race plan based on your fitness level, staying focused and disciplined in your pace early in the race; remembering the race doesn’t really start till much later (e.g., 85 miles of the bike in an Ironman, 20 miles in a marathon);
  9. Injuries: get diagnosed soon and correctly, stick with your rehab program no matter how good you feel, think long term, be patient;
  10.  Overtraining: mandatory rest day, periodized training, listen to your body. Wow, I did it!

 

When it comes to multi-disciplined events what is the secret to smooth transitions?

A well-laid-out transition area. Practice, practice, and more practice until the routine is ingrained and automatic. During the transition, staying calm, focused, and methodical. Not trying to go faster than you have practiced and always plan ahead!

 

 

 

The Champion Blueprint

There are many studies and researchers that investigates how and when a performance surface, but is not only related to the anatomical factor, it is the core beliefs of the athlete that influence most of the outcomes. Below you can find the blueprint of a successful sportsman.

An elite athlete believes in his abilities, he has self-confidence, focusalways on himself and not on his adversaries when he is under pressure. He treats negativity and last-minute doubt, with relaxation techniques like music, muscle relaxation, goal concentration and a vivid image of the victory.

And for all that to happen it is a must that the athlete allows himself to win. For victory, positive thinking is needed, which also attracts positive energy.
A champion also needs to accept that the possibility of defeat exists. This doesn’t mean to give up, on the contrary, it means to remove any fear of failure and not to perceive defeat as something totally negative. When a defeat happens, it will attract some benefits, like making him more alert and aware of weaknesses, with the possibility of correction.

The studies shows that top athletes have the best physical and mental training. Self-belief (trust, self-efficacy), a very strong self-confidence can only come from a very good training. A good (physical and mental) training is an investment that they do on themselves. When they become aware of the sacrifice and investment, they make every effort to win the competition. Somewhere in the athlete subconscious is a balance, and the results will not be less than the investment made.

A champion treats competitionrelated stressors (like : external factors, adversaries, critics, interruption of the match, program changes), anxiety (internal problems, nervous behavior), and he lives in the moment 100%, he does not let his fears and doubts stay in his way. Often, athletes hesitate to act because of the fear of failure. In this particularly scenario, the difference between an successful outcome and a lower performance, is that a champion always treats adversities in his favor!

For example in combat sports like Mixed Martial Arts, for the athlete to have the best mental focus, it is necessary to move into “another world “once he steps into the octagon, ring or tatami, where sometimes nothing more is heard then the coach’s instructions.

Another common factor for all the successful athletes, is their ability to stay calm in the middle of the storm. Regardless of how agitated is the audience, whatever side the public is, a champion always maintain its calm and balance in his inner world.

All champions have a commitment to themselves and to the sport. This means that giving up isn’t an option, whatever impediments he has in training or in the lost battles.

Perseverance and constancy leads to performance, and that’s the most common factor for all the champions.

 

 

 

Sports Can Be Educational

12 Reasons Why Watching Sports Can Be Educational

The opportunities are right there in front of us to learn valuable life lessons watching athletic events from the sofas, stands, and sidelines. Games, cups, playoffs, tournaments, bowls, matches, and other events are available every single day of the year.

Parents, educators, coaches, mentors, and empirical evidence encourage participation in youth sports or other extracurricular activities so children can develop their talents, experience team dynamics, make memories, and have fun.

Most activities, especially sports, require actual hands-on participation to enjoy to the fullest. However, what about the non-competitive kids who are passionate about their game?

Players are learning life skills firsthand by their participation, but fans also acquire lessons from pure observation. If you truly listen, sports broadcasting provides significantly more substance than just the play-by-play of the game. In spite of the secondary experience, these twelve life skills can actually be learned without wearing the uniform:

1.  Application of Everyday Math

Continuous speed math must be applied in order to keep up with various games thanks to points, shots, yards, penalties, and outs. Definitely more fun than math worksheets and apps, a football game can be a three hour mathematical boot camp of keeping up with yards and downs, which can be more engaging than “Johnny had three apples and found seven more, how many apples does he have in all?”

2.  Agree to Disagree

Accepting individual differences and opposing perspectives is a survival skill of adulthood. We disagree about our political candidates or Coke vs. Pepsi, so favorite sports team is no exception. Since we are encouraged to practice acceptance towards individual differences, how do people really look when they get downright angry during the “my team is better” debate? Thus, sports teams can be a great place to learn how to embrace that it is okay to have different favorites.

3.  Improve from technical mistakes

Humans make mistakes and professional athletes are obviously no exception. Even the best player can miss the shot, strike out, or drop the ball. Rather than get the ego  tangled up in feedback, a true star is intrinsically motivated to learn and improve from his or her mistakes.

4.   Respect Cultural Norms

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Whether it is painting their bodies green, wearing a cheese wedge hat, or chanting the fight song, every team fan base has something they do to support their team.

 

These common fan-based behaviors create the energy that bonds them together, like a secret handshake. Off the field or court, understanding different cultural norms in any situation is the core of social intelligence.

5. Loyalty

When our team wins, we feel pride and joy; when they lose, we ache.  Similar to when a friend or family member is going through a rough patch, we support them, even if they disappoint us.  Most importantly, we stick by our team through all seasons, regardless of their performance, and not just follow the hot champion.

6.  Competitive Job Market

College and professional athletes do not get scholarships, contracts, playing time, recognition, fame, and trophies for getting dressed and showing up.  The NCAA (2016) reported the numbers and percentages of high school participants who become college and professional athletes.

For basketball, of the 541,479 high school men’s players, 18,697 (3.5%) were NCAA college participants, and out of the 4155 draft eligible, 60 (1.9%) played on a professional level.  Out of the 429,504 women’s high school players, 16,589 (3.9%) participated on NCAA teams, 3686 were draft eligible, and 36 (1.6%) were drafted to play for teams in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

7.  Hard Work Pays Off

The data from the NCAA (2016) report showed that professional sports are among the most competitive industries. The few players with contracts earned them from years of practicing drills, conditioning their bodies, and going above and beyond to exceed their personal best. Entitled to nothing, they have to work exceptionally hard to wear that jersey; since of the 60 male basketball players drafted by the NBA, had over a half million high school players dreaming to be in that spot.

8.  Geography

Games, tournaments, cups, matches, playoffs, and bowls are broadcasted from all around the world.   Some events are held in places that might not be on our radar.  Thanks to these global events, children are introduced to these places, hear random location facts, and can find them on a map or Google Earth.  Would you have ever heard of some of those places without sporting events?

9.  History

Sports broadcasters and commentators are tremendous resources in reporting the team’s statistics, legends, and politics.  They teach us additional insight about the venue, location, and event.  A witty broadcaster is certainly more memorable than a web page or textbook.

 

10.  Bond with Adults

Children seem to fall into two categories with adults: charming or annoying.  The charming kids seem to connect easily with adults.  Sports are a fantastic opportunity to bridge the gap between generations.  The dynamic between the older historical insight and the fresh youth perspective provide win/win intergenerational bonding experiences.

11.  Consequences to Bad Behavior

People make bad decisions from poor behavioral judgment and celebrity athletes are no exception.  Unfortunately for famous people, personal mistakes, breaking the law, and other dramatic life situations are shared instantly through the media.  Their bad behavior might suspend them from playing time, which not only punishes the players, but the team and fans.

12.  Team Dynamics 101

When you look at a team’s process through a developmental perspective (Wheelan, 2005) teams with winning statistics are most likely to have already learned to work through conflicts and individual differences as well as maintain a clear group structure. On the flip side, team performance is certainly impacted when the team has unresolved interpersonal issues.

The good news is that there are sports on television every single day of the year, as well as easily accessible online.  Our culture would not have it any other way. Unconventional, yes; but the lessons are there in front of us.

References:

NCAA (2016).  Probably of Competing in Sports Beyond High School,

http://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/2016RES_Probability-Chart-Web-

     PDF_20160502.pdf.   

Wheelan, S. (2005). Creating Effective Teams: A Guide for Members and Leaders

     (2nd Ed.)  Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

 

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