Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Here we are again.... or still...
One more week into a pandemic that continues to disrupt our business, our recruiting, our players, our teams, our families, our communities and lives all over the world.
And, yet, life goes on.
I think that is one of the hardest lessons I have learned in my life… that regardless of the current circumstance, time marches on.
This lesson has smacked me in the face a few times.
The first time was right after my coach’s death, a few years after I graduated from college. I remember walking into our athletic facility on campus, the place was a buzz as normal. I stopped in the middle of all of the action and wanted to scream “doesn’t anyone know what just happened? Coach just died! How can life go on in this building as if nothing is different?”
The second time was after my mom’s unexpected death. I was sitting in my parent’s family room reading my Mom’s obituary in the newspaper and my dad said “It’s Thursday. I still have to take out the trash.”
The routines of daily life continue whether we feel like partaking or not - whether the conditions are normal or not.
Things still need to be attended to.
Life does not stop because situations change, or we change.
I hope that your situation has not changed as drastically as my examples, but no matter how much change happens between now and when your campuses return to normal, no matter how much your budget or staff has been cut, no matter what new stipulations you must follow to satisfy the demands of the pandemic – certain things need our attention – certain things need to get done.
How do we get our athletes and our staff (and ourselves) to respond to the changes we have experienced and those that will come productively?
How can we help prepare our athletes for their return with so much uncertainty?
One thing we can do is prepare them by continuing to make the AWARE of their RESPONSE or REACTION to whatever comes.
This practice of evaluating our responses can serve as preparation for our future competitions, born out of the necessity of dealing with obstacles, change, fear, uncertainty in our daily existence in a world enveloped in COVID-19.
Get your athletes to think about things that are happening in their lives and how they are reacting to those events. We know that our reaction to the things that happen to us determine the results in most instances.
I am sure you have heard of
E + R = 0
EVENTS + REACTION = OUTCOME
(I like to call them RESULTS)
So – if we can get our athletes to think about what has happened and how they reacted, then think about the result or outcome, we can raise their awareness to how their reactions effect what ultimately happens in their lives.
We can then go one step further and ask them to take a second…just a second…between the event that is happening and their reaction. This split second all
ows for them to CONTROL their response…to think about what their initial gut response would be and change it if necessary, to get the result that is most productive.
A simple act of getting our athletes to evaluate…write down events and reactions…and then outcomes, they can determine how their reactions are working for them. They can think about how they can change reactions to get better results. They can be more productive and better performers.
Our athletes can gain some control in a chaotic world - whether that world be one in which things change daily because of a pandemic or in a tense competitive situation that happens on the field or court.
Once a week.
That’s all you need to do until they gain more awareness. Maybe start on your Zoom meetings (for those of you still at home) or take a minute after conditioning.
Ask for a simple list of the things that happened (EVENTS) and their REACTIONS…and their OUTCOMES/RESULTS or E+R=O. This will also give you insight on how they see their reactions - which may or may not equate to how you see them.
If you would like to talk more about strategies like this, make a comment here or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!