It is not easy to accompany the career of talented young athletes. Many times we doubt whether it is better to demand them to give their maximum, or leave them alone to go at their own pace although we see that this rate could be better.
If we demand them, we run the risk of suffocating and anguishing them, to the point that they stop enjoying and abandon the practice for something that they feel makes them feel better.
Faced with this situation it is better to change the approach of … “do we demand it or not?” By “how do we motivate them?”.
A good message to challenge them can be this:
“I think you can get where it is, I trust that, but maybe you do not see yourself up there and this depends on how you see yourself and not how others see you.”
The responsibility of the coach at the mental level is to take them to the highest level of motivation but always understanding that this is an internal process; from the outside we can only encourage them but not demand them. The objectives and times that must be prioritized are those of the athlete and not those of the coach.
Motivating is to return the young athlete owner of their objectives, their interests and their struggles. If we touch the fiber of motivation well, everything will come out of the athlete and the coach will only have to order his energy, without forcing it when he sees that he does not have it.
Being able to transmit a message of trust and show a future full of possibilities is an invaluable gift.
To demand them beyond their current motivation can give results in the short term but in the long term it will only leave the distaste of the demands and the pressure and an anger towards the person who, although he acted for his own good, caused pain in him. that requirement. It is here where the coach can feel enormous ingratitude because he believes that he acted with good intentions but was not valued.
But of course, the possibility that the project of the athlete does not continue is always. You have to be clear that this is a decision of him and that, if he comes to take it, it was not because the coach did something wrong.
The young person has to feel free of power, if he wanted to, to stop practicing sports; You do not have to feel tied to a mandate. So you can experience that your desire to surrender one hundred percent to your sports career is authentic.
Each young athlete is different. Because of its history, personality and circumstances, it may be dealing with structural issues in a very original way. In adolescence, increasingly longer, athletes, however talented they may be, also suffer and doubt their abilities, knowledge and their confidence in general. It is here where the coach may need extra help to understand it. It is better to seek help rather than lose patience.
Of course: high performance is for very few people; a very special psychological matrix is needed, with the ability to put a focus out of the ordinary in a single activity. It is not easy to find young people with these characteristics, even if they have the skills and technical skills to practice sports.