January 29, 2012
What Makes a Great Athlete? by Donelle Mcinerney
Over 45, Mother, Wife, Coach, Teacher, Motivator. She has worked at every level of education in her more than three decades of teaching and coaching.
What makes up the heart and soul of a great athlete?
As a coach for over 3 decades I have coached thousands of children, my coaching techniques have evolved and I still know I have so much more to learn. I am forever trying to improve and fine tune my coaching skills and in a way the children are my "guinea pigs", but one constant remains - the traits of the great" athlete.
Athletes need to be honest with themselves and their coach, if they don't communicate with the coach, injuries can and will occur and the coach losses the ability to trust in the athlete to tell them the full story. The coach needs to be fully aware of the loads that the children are undertaking: other sports, school sports, illness, nutritional habits, study requirements, work requirements and even sleep habits. Only then can a coach moniter the training loads, recovery needs and competition schedules of each child.
They need to have self belief, self confidence, self awareness, and an appropriate level of maturity,
They must have passion for the sport, the fire in the belly,
They must have commitment, dedication, set goals and have an ethos of practice makes perfect,
They must have a balanced life: sport, family, friends, school, work, relaxation, hobbies, spiritual health all need to be addressed for an athletes life to be in harmony,
They must understand the opposition or competition,
They must get into the zone, block out distractions and everything flows,
They must accept criticism and learn from their mistakes,
They must have a touch of talent, and finally
Great athletes have an aura that exudes confidence with a dash of humbleness even when they are just warming up.
Put all these traits together and you have the makings of a great athlete.
Check back next time for another great article on coaching, parents and sports psychology.