First Aid Kit

It is a great time of the year if you are a sports fan. The NHL is winding down and the last few teams are competing for playoff spots. The Final Four basketball tournament is down to the semi finals and golf is ramping up for the first major of the year, The Masters.

In each of these events there can be only one winner. The sporting public will analyse every play, every swing , and every Coaching move. The athlete of today is under tremendous scrutiny with 24 hour sports networks, cell phones, and social media . Their level of preparation has gone to an entirely new level. Along with the physical fatigue there is also the mental fatigue. Twenty years ago if an athlete said they were mentally fatigued, they would have been labelled as soft and weak. Not today, it is an accepted practice that athletes take time off to recharge and refocus.

Yesterday as I watched the end of the match play championship I could see the exhaustion in the faces of Sam Burns and Cam Young. Since Wednesday they have played in the neighbourhood of 109 holes of golf or approximately six rounds of golf. Each round is a four mile walk, so 24 miles in five days. They swing the club with a speed of 100 mph ( low estimate ) and do it 218 times. That will take a toll on you physically!

Now, let’s throw in seven matches against a field of the top 64 competitive players in world. Each match is like a prize fight. Players exchanging punches or in this case swings. As the tournament goes on each match takes a mental and physical toll on the player. For years golfers were not thought of as athletes. There idea of training came in form a bottle and a pack of smokes. Now, they are physically fit for competition because there is just too much a stake.

The difference IMO is the mental side of the game. Whether it be golf, hockey or basketball, it is how the athlete response to adversity. As you well know I am a huge advocate of the teachings of Dr. Bhrett McCabe. Here is his advice for what to do when adversity strikes.

1- Understand that adversity is not a predictor of the future, it is difficulty in the moment.

2- Understand that there is a time to compete and a time to analyse.

3- What can you trust most in your game in this moment.

4- Use adversity to build momentum. View it as an opportunity.

5- Focus on your purpose. Always be intentional with it.

As I watch these sporting events over the coming weeks I will be looking for moments of adversity and how athletes and teams respond to them. Some people call it a will to win, but to me that implies something that is mythical in nature.

Teams and athletes need to be prepared for adversity because it is a question of when it happens not if it happens. Good coaches and athletes will have their ” First Aid Kit” fully stocked and ready for the moment.

Until next time.

Follow on Twitter @Betweentheears2

Follow Dr. Bhrett McCabe @DrBhrettMcCabe

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