Close your eyes and imagine yourself learning to swim for the first time. Who taught you how to swim? Whoever it was, was by your side every step of the way. With a mixture of fear, perhaps a big smile, and maybe a cry here and there, you were set out to conquer something new. The rush of mixed emotions about learning to confront one of Earth’s largest elements is daunting, but you had HELP AND GUIDANCE.
Knowing you had the help from someone you trusted put you at ease. Regardless of what you were told to do, there’s a strong chance you breathed water into your nose or swallowed too much water on accident, but you learned for yourself. This is often referred to as “learning the hard way.”
This is a great learning mechanism in this scenario, but how does this differ from learning a mental skill?
There is not a specific time in our childhood where our parents say…
”OK, it’s time to learn how to overcome disappointment.”
It just happens in life. We don’t necessarily learn the wrong or right way, as everyone learns and adapts differently.
Dependent on our personality types, some may seek comfort and guidance while others may keep to themselves and remain stubborn in their ability to be independent. These feelings can be confusing and difficult to harness for the youth. There is a high potential to develop thought patterns and habits that aren’t always healthy for future success.
Our point here…when learning new skills (most becoming lifelong skills) we have received help, guidance, and support at a young age.
There seems to be a disconnect between the importance and resources necessary to learn and grasp physical skills compared to mental skills as early in our maturing years as possible.
Youth athletes can accomplish anything they want with effort, patience, and the right MINDSET. A growth mindset. A growth mindset translates over into all areas of life. However, it can really be honed in on being involved in sport at a young age. It is rare that you can approach an 8-year-old youth athlete and expect them to even know what a growth mindset means.
We are here to change that.
There is no time like the present. As with everything, improvement and results come with repetition. Getting the reps in as early as possible is the goal. It is important to educate youth athletes that accomplishing a goal requires repetition, hard work and it’s never a linear process. Youth athletes must learn the foundations of mindset training and understand the basics of sports psychology for the longevity of enjoyment and success in sport. The skills learned in sport will no doubt translate over into all facets of life. However, at a young age, starting in sport is the way to go.
A growth mindset, at its core, is the belief that your actions can change your outcomes, that your intelligence and abilities are not fixed and unchangeable.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS
Sports psychology is the science of success. Studies show that within a group of athletes of equal ability, those who receive mental training outperform those who don’t almost every time. Mental skills, like physical skills, need constant practice. - Mind Gym
The connection created between a RISE Athlete and RISE Mentor is powerful. With a combination of passion, experience, and a foundation of sports psychology, our mentors guide and support youth athletes in every facet of sport. Learning how to overcome their own mental blocks by talking it through with someone who has been in the exact same position
It’s difficult to put into words how strongly our team feels about our mission to help others along in their journey to become the best version of themselves as people and as athletes through encouraging self-ownership of the growth process.
Knowing what they have learned throughout their journey, overcoming obstacles, disappointments, personal struggles, emotional ups, emotional downs, etc. heightens their ability and desire to give back.
RISE mentors are on a mission to connect physical skills to mental skills. We recognize that every athlete has different learning curves and experiences, but we want to make “learning the hard way” easier. The younger these mental skills are communicated, learned, and practiced, the better.
Our team is innately aware of the needs and abilities of every athlete they work with, both mentally and physically. It’s a lot of work and takes a dedicated and compassionate individual to inspire kids!
We work with young athletes one-on-one to teach them the skills we wish we’d developed as young athletes — learning to balance competition, friends, school, and family.
RISE mentors are ready to bring you to the next level, helping you succeed in competition and sport — and perhaps more importantly, helping you become stronger, more resilient humans.
This blog was originally published by RISE Athletes.
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