It always surprises me how easily some athletes are distracted by unexpected hurdles. Yes, I understand…the word “unexpected” means “unplanned” for, but you must be prepared that there are situations that will come up in your athletic life that are…unplanned for.
Being flexible of body and flexible of mind is a great trait for an athlete to have so today I’m going to talk about how athletes can overcome unexpected hurdles. Enjoy!
[00:00:37] Today we’re talking about overcoming unexpected hurdles. So one of the life skills that comes out of playing games and being an athlete and being involved in a sport is the idea of overcoming challenges. We have unexpected challenges that come our way. So overcoming unexpected hurdles, is really a life skill that you take with you forever.
[00:01:02] One of the things that I’m working on in my new book called You’ve Got This: How to Overcome Any Challenge Using the Power of Games in Sport. The concept of the threat mindset versus the challenge mindset. So when you win, when a hurdle comes your way. And I like to use the word “hurdle” because it gives us ideas like something to go over. When you see a hurdle, you don’t stop. You just learn how to jump over it.
Know They Are Coming And Leap!
[00:01:28] But some people see hurdles and they stop and that’s just not really necessary. The idea of overcoming an unexpected hurdle is like, there are hurdles that, you know, are coming. There are things that you know and you can prepare for mentally.
[00:01:41] Sometimes they just come out of the blue. Right now, globally, we’re all kind of stuck in coronavirus. And this is a hurdle that nobody was really planning for.
Your Two Choices
[00:01:50] We’ve got to be careful about that. So one of the things to understand is that when a hurdle comes your way, you’ve got kind of two choices. One is you’re either threatened by that or you are not threatened by it. But you look at it as a challenge. And so if you’re threatened by it, what can happen is you get stress from it. You get post-traumatic stress from that. That hurdle. But you can also get what’s called posting ecstatic stress. So you look at that hurdle and go, wow, this is an opportunity for me to get better, For me to overcome this, for me to learn, for me to learn how to overcome this and then take those skills and go elsewhere.
[00:02:27] So that’s with all of my athletes in sports and life,we talk about this concept of wanting psychological flexibility. When you’re psychologically rigid. OK. When you’re psychologically rigid and something comes your way, it’s like you freeze and you can’t do anything. But that’s really not a good place to be in forever. The idea is to have psychological flexibility, to be nimble. To be able to move and to be like, OK, here’s a hurdle. What am I going to do? Am I going to avoid it when I go around it? Am Igoing to go under it, what’s going to happen?
[00:02:59] So the idea of creating psychological flexibility so that when these these hurdles come your way, then we can move forward.
[00:03:09] Now with coronavirus one of the interesting things right now is that globally everybody is dealing with the similar hurdle. So you can get online and you can either be consumed in negative news and be hearing about all the people who are dying or you can be focusing on the more positive aspects of what’s coming out of this. Like the interesting ways people are entertaining themselves or creating a new habit or, you know, they’re writing a book or they’re creating a project like whatever it is. It’s your choice to get bogged down in the hurdle and staring at the hurdle or you’re going to look at the opportunity.
[00:03:49] It’s kind of like when you point, when you’re dealing with a dog, and you point at something and you want them to get the ball, but they look at your finger, right? You don’t want to be the dog looking at the finger. You want to be the dog going like what? There’s something over there that is a tree that I can go for. That’s who you want to be. So keep that in mind.
[00:04:06] So, listen, don’t get stuck in the hurdle. Understand, the hurdles coming your way are just more opportunities for you to learn and to develop and get better. So keep that in mind as we move forward.
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Olympian Jonathan Edwards
Founder - The Athlete Breakthrough Blueprint
Olympian Jonathan Edwards is the Creator of "The Athlete Breakthrough Blueprint": The world's only mental performance training program for aspiring athletes with big dreams. Over nineteen years he has worked with athletes who have gone on to or competed in NCAA D1, D2, D3, MCLA D1 and D2, the Olympics, NHL, MLL, NLL, NFL, and others. Feel free to link to this article from your blog and share it with an athlete, parent, or coach who would benefit from these concepts.