2,097 rushing yards on the season with 12 TDs. 3.30 batting average with 118 runs. 262 three point field goals with 746 free throws completed. (Adrian Peterson 2012, Bryce Harper 2015, James Harden 2016).
While coming from different sports, these numbers all have one thing in common: they are a combination of highly impressive statistics coming from some of the best athletes within their respective sports.
But is being one of the best potentially holding you back from becoming better than your best?
If you are one of the better athletes in your program, you may experience one or many of the following scenarios with the people you meet throughout your career.
People constantly say how good you are and continually sing their high praises
People begin to expect to see you play that well all of the time
People turn their backs on you if you begin to fall short of their expectations
People fail to offer sound advice for improvement either from laziness, lack of proper knowledge, or the assumption that because you are the best on the team, you must be doing something right
One of the rarities you will see in who you meet is finding someone who is not afraid to point out your flaws; someone who knows how to break down your movement and check for areas of inefficiency. Coaches, parents, and teammates often get too involved with seeing your positive production that they blind themselves from realizing where they can work with you to help you improve and become better than your best.
As an athlete, you need to be accountable for your own success and never stop trying to learn. Keep asking what you can do to improve. Ask what you need to work on to get better. Question how your diet casts implications on your performance. Ask about recovery options and various techniques that you can use to reset your body between performances. When a coach stops being able to answer that question or is unwilling to refer you to other professionals who can provide those answers, it does not mean that you have achieved perfection and can no longer improve. It simply means that you may have outgrown that coach.
Always remember that no one is perfect and that no matter how high your statistics are, you can always beat yourself. You can always improve. It is like I tell my athletes, train to beat the person you have not met yet even if that person is just a better version of yourself.
Valerie Zalasar, MS, ATC, LAT Performance DirectorFoundational Adaptations to Strength, Speed, and Stability Training
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