Leffler Farms Inc. is officially done with Harvest 2014!!!!
When I first started track it wasn't always easy or natural as some people would say. I have always been told I was a natural but I never understood why people thought that because I put in many extra hours to gain the extra boost I needed to be considered good. It was in those moments that I spent doing extra that no one knew about and I honestly just thought everyone did that. It wasn't until I began coaching at the college level that I realized there are many different types of athletes:
~ The athlete who relies only on genetic ability (natural talent)
~ The athlete who has to bust their butt and put in extra hours
~ The athlete who becomes a student of the sport
~ The athlete who just simply has natural talent and a great work ethic
~ The athlete that let's their head get in the way of their ability
~ The athlete who is lazy and doesn't seem to care
These are just a few examples, I could go on for hours. The one example I didn't list is the athlete who does the sport for everyone else but him or herself. These are the athletes who show signs of frustration and disappointment the most. Their expectations are made by other people i.e. parents, coaches, siblings, friends or maybe that person they just want to prove wrong. The part that is hard to understand is that these other people may not even have these expectations; the athlete just assumes they do. This is when I see it begin to become detrimental and hard for the athlete to be happy because it's an unrealistic expectation that isn't even there that they are trying to obtain.
Don't get me wrong, as an athlete I most definitely wanted to please those people who supported me and cheered me on. It's fun to have your closest friends and family there when you have a great accomplishment but its even better when they are there for you in failure. It is in failure that athletes realize other people's thoughts and feelings don't need to be dictated off of their performances either. Until an athlete can do their sport for the love and joy it brings to them they will never meet their full potential in my opinion. It is then that the athlete can begin to quit thinking and trying so hard and begin to allow their body to take over. And that my friends is when athletes will have their greatest performances.
Now you may wonder what are my expectations of my athletes that I coach at Emporia State. It's really simple I want them to fail, but I want them to succeed as well. Athletes learn from both outcomes. If you really break it down; in baseball the number everyone wants to bat is .300. That's only a 30% average, three out of ten tries is considered successful. In school if you were to get a 30% on a test it would be considered a failure, but in one of the greatest games ever it's considered a great success. The way I see it is, if my athletes can hit three good throws close to their potential out of ten that is success. All I am really asking for is failure if you look at the raw data. This is certainly the beauty of sports.
So, Athletes learn to love the sport that has given so much to your life. Be present where you are and appreciate the little victories just as much as the big ones. Look around and see who is there celebrating with you and then again who is by your side when you fail. Times goes fast so don't waste it by doing it for someone else.