What is your Identity?
When it comes to achieving any sort of lasting success...there's the work that needs to happen on the inside and the work that happens on the outside. If you're trying to become a better athlete, you know the types of things that entails...
That's the outside work...and its not complicated. So why don't some people embrace it and do it on a consistent basis? Because it's not really part of their identity. And changing that...that's the inside work.
I first figured this out back when I was the Chinese Short Track Speed skating Team Strength and Power coach. During my time there, we broke literally dozens of track and World records. The vast majority of those records were broken by our women's team. I'd love to tell you that it was because I was a super smart strength coach or something...but that just wouldn't be true. But I did one thing particularly well (with the girls that is). I helped create a culture where the athletes started to self-identify as powerful and dynamic skaters.
The athletes who were just ok other places really took off and ripped that ice to shreds when they moved up from the Provincial teams because of that mind set. They thought of themselves as powerful and dynamic...so they behaved as such. More focus and intensity during 'live' practices. More 'buy in' in the weight room and doing agility work. More confidence. More effort in the ancillary stuff like vision work and recovery. They handled adversity better because when they didn't win the gold at every World Cup they didn't think they were bad skaters...it was just a bad race. And every once in a while a skater would transfer back to the Provincial team due to an minor injury and they'd regress...a lot. They still knew the drills we used and the things we did...but they no longer identified as powerful and dynamic skaters.
I saw this type of thing immediately when I first opened the Jungle. Athletes identified as.....a basketball player or a hockey player or a volleyball player. They didn't identify themselves as Powerful and Dynamic Athletes first and foremost. So they might change their behaviors for a little while...but it didn't stick. They defaulted back to their core identity. The core identity being simply going through the motions in everything and only putting effort into the core identity. And that tactic used to work fairly well.....back when hockey players or ball players would go to camp to 'get in shape for the season'.
Those days are gone. Every field, every sport is packed with more and more competition. If your just playing for fun its ok. But for someone who wants to excel in their sport ...and in their life...they need to make a shift from drifting or reactive to being proactive. I won't tell you that it's an easy transition to make...but its a game changer. Really, its the only way all the tactical stuff becomes an ingrained habit that we embrace and enjoy. Without the shift...progress is temporary. So if your looking to excel you need not just change your behaviors...but evolve your identity.
Dedicated to your athletes success