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Start the New Year off Right!

How many movies did you watch this past week? That is the question! 😊

I don’t think I have watched 3 movies in a year (or decade)…but we managed to get through 3 in two days in our house…and I loved them all - Safety, Wonder and Soul! Fun stuff!

What a different Christmas it was!

No big family dinner. A drive-in Christmas Eve service in a snowstorm thanks to my cousin Mark who pastors a church in our area! And lots of time at home with my immediate family…and my dad!

Even so, it was WONDERFUL!

So many things are different, and the pandemic has changed our habits immensely over the past 9 months.

One change that we need to be aware of as we move into the New Year is that we get out of our social isolationI don’t mean forget social distancing or ignoring the mandates on gatherings.

I do mean that we need to be sure our players, family and friends make an effort to continue to build and reap the benefits of social interaction and relationships.

Our habits of sitting on the couch engrossed in Netflix or video games. Our inability to gather and enjoy the company of others. All of this can become our comfort zone. We can fill our time with nothing or something…and avoid getting back into the swing of things.

One of the worst things that has happened to college campuses, in my opinion (and there is some antidotal research to back this up) is the loss of shared bathrooms and the rise of single rooms.

Yes, sharing a bathroom with 30 other people is hard to get used to and sometimes uninviting, but it was vital to building relationships and increasing social interaction.

Now, kids can go back to their dorm and not see another human until they venture out to class…they don’t even need to leave to eat anymore if they choose. Our tiny fridges and electric-sucking microwaves were not nearly as enticing as whey they can do now!

Too many opportunities to avoid social interaction!

Things that allow us to isolate can take a toll on our happiness and well-being.

Research shows that social interaction and positive relationships help us in so many ways!

We live longer…have lower blood pressure…. heal quicker…. have stronger immune systems…are more fit…have healthier hearts…and feel less pain.

Coaches and leaders should love this list of benefits!!

Just having someone around when we are doing something hard makes the task less daunting.

Sharing experiences with friends and family multiplies our joy…and lessens our sorrows.

Walking down the hall and talking to those you see, even if the transaction is only seconds in time boosts our happiness.

I can go on and on with examples of how making contact with other humans helps us thrive!

So, as we move into a time where quarantines are almost a given and athletes are returning to campus from being away from a bunch of other humans, I encourage you to do all you can to get them out of their social isolation and into conversations, experiences and relationships that will help them in and out of competition!

Social distancing is of utmost importance.

Social distancing and social interaction are not mutually exclusive.

I hope your athletes jump right back into the lives we lived prior to the pandemic when we can and get back into the swing of things when they return to campus.

But if they need some nudging, I am sure you have lots of ideas on how you can help…and you can be the encourager…leading them to a more fulfilling experience and life!

We know the next few months are likely to bring more of the same to us. However, we get to decide how we react to what is to come.

If we make an effort to connect with others on our teams, in our neighborhoods, families or work environments, whatever is to come will be less of a burden that if we isolate and face it alone.

So, say hi to a stranger. Make that phone call to your best friend.

Hop on one more Zoom with your family.

Or, call me and I will work with your team and help them increase their positive emotion…which we know is the #1 factor in peak performance!

I hope this helps you wrap up 2020 on a positive note and gets 2021 off to a great start!

Happy New Year!


Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946



Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9


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