Did you ever find yourself stuck in a relationship, working on something you didn’t love, or even stuck in a place witch kills your creativity or maybe, focusing on problems with no resolution, instead of taking steps towards a better you ?
At one time or another and for a variety of reasons, most athletes think about quitting. Sometimes a decision to quit playing sport, comes as a shock to parents, but at other times the warning signs leading up to it are very clear.
What are the causes of dropping out of youth sports?
In general, the reasons fall into two categories. The first category involves a shift in interests, especially during adolescence. Other involvements, such as a job, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or recreational pursuits may leave little time for sports. In such cases, a youngster may simply choose to set other priorities.
The second category of reasons why kids quit involves negative sport experiences. Research has shown that the following reasons often underlie a decision to drop out:
- Not getting enough playing time.
- Poor relationships with coaches or teammates.
- An overemphasis on winning that creates stress and reduces fun.
- Over-organization, excessive repetition, and regimentation leading to boredom.
- Excessive fear of failure, including frustration or failure to achieve personal or team goals.
What are some tips for resolving the problem?
1. Be proactive. The ideal approach is to prevent the dilemma from occurring. In a New York Times blog, Lisa Belkin recommended developing an anti-quitting plan as an integral part of signing up for a sport. In essence, she advocates forming a contract that includes the following conditions:
- If you commit to a team, you have to complete the season.
- If you want to quit because you’re being hurt, physically or emotionally, then that cancels out the above.
2. It’s very important to find out the reason(s) your child wants to quit. This requires open discussion to probe some ways to resolve the difficulties being experienced. In doing this, Catherine Holecko provided sound advice in herFamily Fitness blog. Specifically, she recommends choosing a time and place that’s comfortable to your child, and asking (with sensitivity) some of the following questions:
- You seemed really interested when signing-up. What’s changed?
- Do you remember the two conditions of the contract we made?
- Is there something going on that you’d like to talk about?
- Are you disappointed about your performance, or your team’s?
- Is there something else you prefer to do instead?
- Would you like to play the same sport, but on a different team?
- How do you think your coach/teammates would feel if you quit the team?
3. If the youngster has decided that other activities are more important, his or her priorities should be respected. However, it’s wise to provide a reminder that a commitment has been made to the program and to teammates. In other words, athletes owe it to themselves and to others to honor commitments and to finish the season. This gives the youngster an opportunity to feel good about himself or herself by fulfilling the obligation through the remainder of the season—even if the activity itself is no longer pleasurable.
4. If appropriate, you may wish to take some active steps to correct the difficulties identified. This will likely involve speaking to the coach or a program administrator. In talking with your youngster, you should evaluate how intolerable the situation is to him or her and whether the problems can be worked out. In all but the most severe cases, you can point out that a commitment has been made, and you can encourage your youngster to finish the season.
5. If the problems are sufficiently severe, the decision to drop out may be in the best interests of your child. In this case, you would want to communicate to your child that although it’s important to live up to commitments, you understand that the principle is outweighed by the nature of the problems.
If the child does drop out, there may be other opportunities to play in a sport program that doesn’t have the negative factors that prompted the decision to quit.
Also it is important to understand that everybody may feel the same way about sport. Here’s a recommendation for a better understanding.
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.
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!
When you’re working toward a weight-loss goal, stepping on the scale and discovering you’re a few pounds lighter can motivate you to keep focusing on healthy habits. However, fluctuations on the scale could be due to water weight and not fat loss.
Here’s how to know if your efforts are paying off and why you should be mindful when you step on the scale.
WHAT IS WATER WEIGHT?
What we see as a decrease in body weight is a change in muscle, fat and water. Water makes up 60% of your body weight, and it’s one of the first things you lose.
Fat mass doesn’t change overnight, but you can lose as much as five pounds of water in a day. Average 24-hour urine loss ranges from 800–2,000 milliliters of fluid or about 1.8–4.4 pounds because water is heavy. It sounds drastic but as you lose water, you’re also replenishing it through food and drink.
By contrast, it’s virtually impossible to burn off a pound of fat in a day. Let’s do the math: A pound of fat is 454 grams, and assuming each gram of fat yields 9 calories, you’d need to burn 4,086 calories to lose one pound. Few activities can stimulate that level of calorie burn.
WHY WATER WEIGHT COMES OFF FASTER THAN FAT
Most people with a weight-loss goal eat fewer calories, carbs or both and exercise more often. When you cut calories and carbs for weight loss, the first place your body dips into for extra energy is glycogen (Think: stored carbohydrates), which is housed in the liver and skeletal muscles.
Glycogen is usually stored with lots of water, so tapping into it releases a lot of water. Exercising more often will also cause you to lose water weight through sweat. You’re still losing fat, but at a slower rate than water.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT WATER LOSS
Certain foods and nutrients can shift your body’s water level short-term. They include:
- LOW-CARB DIETS: As mentioned above, cutting carbs releases water because it causes your body to tap into its glycogen stores.
- HIGH PROTEIN DIETS: If you bump up protein intake to enhance weight loss, you will lose more water through urine. Protein breakdown creates urea and other nitrogenous wastes that require water to remove them from the body.
- SALT: Your body retains water to dilute excess sodium from a high-salt diet. While this has a small effect on water weight, it can harm your health over time. Holding onto excess sodium and fluid increases your blood pressure. Your heart has to work harder, causing wear and tear on your cardiovascular system. Whether or not water weight is on your mind, it’s a good idea to eat less sodium.
- CAFFEINE: Caffeine is a mild diuretic, meaning it increases urination and water loss. Research shows this effect is strongest in individuals who are new to or deprived of caffeine. If you regularly caffein-ate, drinking coffee and tea does little for your water weight.
- ALCOHOL: The classic hangover headache is partly due to dehydration. Alcohol prevents the release of vasopressin, a pituitary gland hormone that regulates how much water is lost through urine. Water loss (and dehydration) is a side effect of drinking alcohol, though it’s definitely not a good solution to get rid of water weight.
- EXERCISE: Intense workouts, especially those in hot and humid weather, increase our sweat rate and water loss. This is why some long-distance runners weigh themselves pre and post run to determine how much fluid they should drink to replace sweat loss. It’s known that even mild dehydration can negatively affect exercise performance.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Long-term changes in body weight result from change to lean muscle or fat, which is what you want to see.
Finally, abstaining from water won’t help you lose weight — the opposite is true. Good hydration aids your weight-loss efforts by curbing hunger and enhancing fat burn.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Explained
Throughout your life you’ve had some and will continue to have some moments of tranquility. When all the basic stuff was coming along according to plan and you could think about the next steps on your path.
You’ve always known deep in your heart that you’re not meant to struggle to get by, you’re not meant to impress anyone to become friends with them, you’re not meant to postpone your dreams for somebody else’s sake. Those a-ha moments, awakenings, sparks of clarity, or however you like to call them, should not be random. They can be achieved consciously and are not some unicorn in another galaxy.
- This is about getting back up there and maximizing your “flight time” without endangering life as you know it.
Abraham Maslow was the psychologist who coined the Pyramid of Needs. The base of the pyramid is made out of our most primal needs, whilst the top culminates with self-actualization.
99% percent of the time we find ourselves stuck in the various activities from the bottom of the pyramid. But if we train our minds, we can overcome all those needs and think outside the box, think on top of what’s missing.
That’s right, even if we’re lacking a lot of what’s down at the bottom (and the middle), we can still have our minds reach the top. As a rule of thumb, the more you actually have (and don’t have to imagine) from the bottom, the longer you can stay on top.
Remember that old saying, act as if? It doesn’t mean that if you want to be rich you should act carelessly with the little you have. It doesn’t mean that if you’d like to be smarter you should act condescending to others. It means act as if you didn’t need all those missing puzzle pieces that keep you away from the top of the pyramid.
- Remember, your target is the top, not the middle. The middle won’t get you further in life.
Act as if you just had a great meal and aren’t hungry right now. Act as if you don’t need that job. Act as if you weren’t afraid of anything. Act as if your family was always there for you. Act as if everyone liked you and respected you for who you are. Act as if you didn’t need to explain anything, because you’re always well rested and can always get your message through. Act as if you can really draw, you can really sing, you can really keep that rhythm and really can dance. Act as if you’re in a beautiful, clean and simply relaxing place. Act as if you’re already on top.
- What will you do now?
Motivation is the effect of success, not the cause. We’re not motivated by finishing off projects, we’re motivated by what we imagine our end results would be. If we can’t imagine the outcome, or can only see the downsides of doing something, we won’t be motivated to do it .
What would be the reason to work if the result is bad? No reason. You should always improve your image on what you want to achieve, otherwise your task might not see the light of day.
You see, Maslow’s always been right. The reason you can think your way out is that you CAN THINK. You can think what if, you can imagine what would be. You don’t need all those things at the bottom of the pyramid to reach the top. But you need the whole pyramid to stay on top.
- The good news is that once you reach the top, you always find solutions to fill in the blanks.
Once you realize this, you are free. You don’t need that new car, you don’t need that unfit relationship, you don’t need your parents’ approval to move halfway around the world.
Your best bet is to find a way to the top without compromising too much of the bottom. You’ll never have the entire pyramid worked out for too long. But you won’t stumble on the base of the pyramid as much when you’re on top as you would when you’re at the bottom of it.
- Know yourself.
Take eating for example. More often than not, people tend to binge-eat. We’re not really hungry but we could always find room for some delicious comfort food, right? Chocolate releases dopamine and hugs us from the inside.
We might even go for a run before munching on that chocolate bar, to work up the serotonin levels as well. Jogging evens out some of the negative effects of the chocolate and empowers us by delaying instant gratification. But neither solves the underlying problem, they just makes it easier to cope with.
Depending on what your base of the pyramid is made of, it will be easier for you to do some things on the top rather than others. Reaching the top at all is a huge win, sure. But believe me, there’s more
Doing what you’ve always loved doing, something you’re really good at, that’s also insanely profitable and is helping save the world – all at the same time – that’s perfection. The Japanese people call it ikigai and is literally the best place to be.
- You should build your pyramid in such a way as to maximize your ikigai.
That Ikigai sure looks awesome, doesn’t it? But it comes at a cost. Depending on the type of personality you’ve developed along the years, you’ll be more or less prone to feel some of the needs from the pyramid. Some people meditate to get their minds away from their worrying lives. Others rely on the balance and harmony they’ve built around them.
There are many ways to reach the top of the pyramid and make a statement in the world, and you should definitely pursue it as a life goal. Ikigai makes every bit of effort worthwhile. When you’re happy, proud, helpful, appreciated and successful at what you do, everything else follows.
Sports & Performance Psychology – Athlete’s Ups and Downs
After European Championship of Brazilian Jiujitsu, I talked with some athletes about the ups and downs experienced after losing a contest, and how to get back on track with the right perspective.
I wanted to write about this particular subject, because I’ve seen up close how harmful and damaging can be for athlete’s self image, the emotional impact of a lost fight or when things are not going accordingly with the plan.
I’ve been studying the complexity of feelings and emotions felt by the athlete in this situation because I wanna give you inspiration and power to go forward with your dream, knowing that what you feel is perfectly normal and it is a part of the process to your success.
Definitely being an athlete has its benefits, you get to train and play the sports you love while competing against the best in your league. In sports, there are times you win and there are times you will lose. It is important to keep an open mind and not get too down or get too excited.
Some people will get into a depression state when they lose, on the other hand, others will desire to work unstoppable until they hurt themselves, thinking that losing has only to do with training harder.
Others will tell themselves that if they could have done this, or that, then they wouldn’t have lost. But isn’t true, sport is like life, we can’t control everything. But we can learn and grow by experiencing bad days, and really enjoy it and be thankful for the good ones, keeping in mind that not always is going to be a smooth ride.
What’s really important for you, is to learn from mistakes, but you shouldn’t let it consume your energy or spend time over thinking and over analyzing. If it happens to be the athlete that gets down, which is perfectly normal time to time, there are several healthier and better ways to cope with negative feelings after a lost contest.
You should try to:
👉 Focus on the Present ( vs past /future), go back in training, body and mind.
👉 Focus on the Positive ( vs negative / mistake), and remove the negative from your mind. There are going to be ups and downs for everyone in their journey, even for the best of the best.
👉 Focus on the Process ( vs. outcome / results ), at this stage you my think about your next game and plan out how you will not make the same mistake twice. You should remember the times that you excelled / and helped your team win.
👉 Be Grateful and enjoy the moment, don’t look ahead, it is a time for everything.