When it comes to being an athlete, positive thinking is of the utmost importance. Athletes who think positively are a lot more likely to have success and to feel confident in their abilities.
Of course, thinking positively and being positive about oneself is not always easy. The good news, however, is that there are many things you can do to encourage positive thinking in young athletes and even in yourself.
Set Achievable Goals
To start with, it’s hard to think or feel positively if you are constantly giving yourself impossible goals and then berating yourself when you don’t reach them. Athletes are never going to get anywhere that way. Instead, they’ll just grow more and more frustrated and less and less confident with themselves.
The key is to set small, achievable goals and to celebrate when even the smallest of goals is achieved. These goals can get larger with time, but making a huge deal out of every goal achieved and focusing on the positive can foster a positive attitude and way of thinking overall, which, in turn, can greatly affect one’s sport experience, in a good way.
Don’t Fall into the Comparison Trap
One of the worst things that athletes can do to themselves is to compare themselves to others. When young athletes are constantly sizing themselves up and worrying about whether or not they are as good as someone else on the team, they lose focus on what really matters: themselves and improving their abilities.
Teach young players to celebrate their own strengths and work on their own weaknesses, NOT to compare themselves to or focus on others. While this can be a hard habit to break at first, breaking it will lead to a much more positive sports experience, more positive thinking, and more success in the long run.
At the end of the day, what and how an athlete thinks can have a huge role in determining his or her overall success. Thus, encourage positive thinking among athletes and watch the power of it unfold firsthand.