Of course, young athletes have goals, and goals are usually in the future. So why not also look a little bit ahead when it comes to the action plan to achieve those goals?
Even young athletes can start to think ahead and take proactive steps to avoid problems before they happen. Whether the athlete is a beginner or already a bit experienced, planning and preparation are never a bad idea to succeed and to build an athletic career.
But why not just go with the flow? Thinking ahead as a young athlete offers tons of learning for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to set reasonable goals. For that, it is good and helpful to talk to the coach. When the coaches know the goals, they can not just develop a plan to achieve those goals but also explain how it works to get where the athletes want to be. The coach also can help to adjust the goal a little if necessary. In this way, the athlete not only has a clear vision of what they want to achieve, but they also understand a roadmap that will guide them towards success. Of course, this is a learning process, and that´s why it is great to implement this early on. Athletes understand better what they are training and why this session is part of the plan. By having some consciousness, it is also easier for the athlete to find out what works well and what does not so much. To get the most out of every session you might also be interested in the blog post "What are you getting out of your session"
Secondly, thinking ahead allows you to avoid problems before they happen. By anticipating potential obstacles or challenges, athletes can take proactive steps to prevent them from derailing their progress. For example, an athlete can prevent injuries by incorporating strength training exercises, practicing proper technique, wearing proper gear, or taking rest days. Of course, the coach has a huge influence and also is responsible for making sure that all is happening, but the athlete should be aware of the plan and the goal of the session, training blog, or even the off day.
Thirdly, thinking ahead helps athletes stay motivated and focused. When having a long-term vision and a plan to achieve it, athletes are more likely to stay committed to their training and make consistent progress toward their goals. It also helps you stay positive and optimistic, even in the face of setbacks or challenges, because they know what to focus on.
Finally, thinking ahead helps athletes develop a growth mindset. Instead of being limited by their current abilities or circumstances, they can see themselves as constantly improving and growing by taking all the steps. This mindset encourages athletes to seek out challenges and push themselves beyond their current limits when necessary. This most likely leads to consistent progress, even when some days don´t go so well. Making all of those experiences with awareness will lead to a higher ability to make good choices in training, competing, recovering, and all the other aspects.
In summary, thinking ahead is a skill that wants to be developed, so why not to teaching young athletes to set goals, avoid problems, and stay motivated and focused? This all supports developing awareness of processes, and sport is such a great tool to implement this not only for a potential athletic career but much more. By taking a proactive approach to their training and development, young athletes also feel more in power to maximize their potential and achieve their goals.
In my next blog post, I will talk about some ways young athletes can think ahead to avoid unnecessary problems.
Do you have a Dream? Keep going towards it :)
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