Success in athletics is often defined by accolades, verbal commitments, or recruiting status. I want the reader (whether you’re a parent, athlete, or coach) to take a moment to reflect on how powerful an impact sports has had on their Athlete’s development. Athletics had a profound impact on shaping me as an athlete. They transformed me into the person I am today. At Athlete Warehouse, we pride ourselves on developing youth athletes into the greatest physical performers that they can possibly be, however success in our facility is not solely predicated athletic performance. As a former AW athlete and now AW Coach, I want to share my reflections on how I’ve seen success manifest itself in those who call themselves a part of team AW.
Training during this time of year is my favorite of all the seasons. It’s an opportunity we have to work with our new greenhorn high school athletes and our veteran college athletes at the same time. As we train our elite college athletes in awe of their physical feats, academic performances, and professional success, I often forget about where they came from. They were once those same inexperienced high school athletes. I find myself so impressed by their college majors, the jobs they are pursuing, or their athletic success that I forget about the children they once were. As we begin to impact more and more youth athletes each year, we are gaining new light on the impact our training environment has on the success of so many young athletes.
So during these two weeks where I have the ability to train both our newest high school athletes alongside our veteran college athletes, I can begin to pinpoint characteristics in both populations that are indicators for success. Here are the three that resonated most with me.
CONSISTENCY: Consistency is something that will undoubtedly drive a student athlete to success. This is one of the most important lessons that can be learned through training and carried over to other areas of life. It will show an athlete of any talent level, that relentless and unwavering effort will breed success in spite of external circumstances. Training is one of the few activities in life that we have total control over. There is no teacher’s opinion grading your performance and effort. At the end of a training cycle, your success is solely based on the relentless effort you put forth. The timer, weight on the bar, or the number on the scale does not have an opinion, it solely tells you the way it is. Many times, this is the first exposure a student athlete may have to evaluating their own effort and consistency in the absence of any external factors.
POSITIVITY: regardless of an athlete’s goals, the believe that one is in an upward trajectory in their life is critical. One of Coach Cassie’s biggest pet-peeves is negative self talk. An athlete doesn’t experience the immediate feedback of a negative mindset, it just slowly breaks them down and then slowly begins to leak into other areas of their life beyond sport. Whether a negative outlook is triggered by a team coach, a professor/teacher, or a social situation, we must encourage our athletes to find positive outlooks on situations that are out of their control. Athlete’s who are able to do this rarely find themselves in a training rut or hitting a performance plateau. They find enjoyment out of the process and therefore and pulled to their goals rather than pushing towards them.
IDENTIFICATION: At the moment where an athlete finds themselves breaking through their ego, is the moment when they will find themselves maximize the benefits to training at Athletes Warehouse. As humans, we are innately pack animals. We thrive in groups and this is something that we have lost in a world that is about “me” rather than “us”. Identifying oneself with a highly motivated group is rare in this world. All athletes experience this at different times, but this was one of the greatest benefits I found to training at AW during my time in college lacrosse.
I have felt and witnessed the impact that training at Athletes Warehouse can have from both an athlete and coach’s perspective. As I witness our experienced athletes train alongside our new athletes, I see both the short and long term effects of success in our facility. Going well beyond sport, facilitating this process is the greatest part of working with the student athlete. Through this blog post, I hope to shed light on how impactful sport and the training process can be in facilitating success in whatever the student-athlete chooses to pursue.