One Athlete's Mind
Well it's that time of year again. The time to scroll through social media and be envious of all those people who live in snowy areas of the world where they are already skiing... #ontarioproblems.. But anyway, back to the blog..
Today I started writing a new assignment for a Coaching course I am taking and I thought I'd share an excerpt from my notes that I thought could be useful to some athletes and coaches out there. The assignment has me coming up with my own coaching philosophy, so as you can imagine I've been doing a great deal of reflecting today on my own past experiences as an athlete in sport.
Maybe once the project is finished I will post the final product on here for people to check out, but for now I'll just share my thoughts on the importance of enjoying the process of being an athlete...
In competitive sport, it is easy and often encouraged to become extremely invested in your training. While the extensive training is necessary to reach a certain level of expertise in a sport, the emphasis on life balance becomes more and more important the more devoted an athlete becomes to their sport. Without the presence of social supports and non-sport related intellectual stimulation, the athlete’s risk of burnout will increase. It is important to be able to draw happiness and stimulation from a variety of sources in one’s life so that if one aspect of one’s life is going poorly, they can draw positive feelings from another avenue. This was a contributing factor to my own experience with burnout, having isolated myself so much to my training that when racing was not going well, I could not find happiness anywhere. It is from this experience that I will work towards promoting balance in the lives of all of the athletes with whom I work.
Being able to experience positive stimuli outside of sport is important, and so too is enjoying the process of all of the hours spent training. Having reasons for being involved in sport outside of winning is extremely important to ensuring you can enjoy the process. These reasons can be anything from loving the way engaging in the sport makes you feel, to using it as a means to see different parts of the world, to expanding networks and meeting new people. As a coach, I would encourage athletes to reflect on what their reasons are for being in their respective sport, and writing them down somewhere that they can come back to whenever they are feeling any sport related anxiety or stress.
That's all I've got for today, but I hope you found something in there to be useful, or at the very least, thought-provoking.
Until next time,
Happy October 23rd
Jordan Cascagnette, Student-Athlete, Ski Coach