There is no doubt that mental health is incredibly important, perhaps now more than ever. As athletes get back to tryouts and regular seasons we need coaches to take the lead when it comes to being a source of support. We need coaches to create environments in which athletes can flourish.
This year, tryouts may be unlike those in the past. Both athletes and coaches may show up differently. Athletes who tend to thrive on routine, rituals and preparedness all of which have been radically challenged over the past year, may be a little rusty, nervous or unsure. Coaches, accustomed to the habitual routines of tryouts, are going to be required to proceed in a manner they have never before experienced.
In order to give athletes a more well-rounded and positive experience, the people who control and set the tone around the environment our athletes exist in have the opportunity to create a sporting environment and culture where they feel comfortable and safe. Tryouts are a time of great stress and pressure on any given year. Take the time as leaders in sport, to re-evaluate and consider what kind of environment you would like to create.
It is the responsibility of those of us who love sport, those of us who champion our athletes, to provide them with a space that delivers exactly what we expect of them. A place where they can feel connection and support.
As the season begins, athletes are going to be nervous and even unsure of where their ability after such a strange year. They will have a far greater chance to excel when the environment is supportive and encouraging. Take a moment and set the stage for top performance and a great experience by considering the following:
And let’s go one step further:
As leaders in the sporting community, we must be the champions we expect our athletes to be. Take the time to create a space, a safe space, where they can grow and develop in all factions of their lives. And watch your athletes thrive as a result.
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