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Ownership and Habits in Sports (and Everything Else You Do)

Hi All,

Coach Justin here again! Hello and I hope you are enjoying your midsummer days! This will be a little longer post than normal, but I find it vital that everyone - swimmers, parents, learners, and friends of the program - take some time for it. We're back with another incredible topic related to the mental side of sports (insert = life), good habits, and ownership. This will be the first part of a two-part post, the second of which I plan to release this Friday. We come to many crossroads in our athletic and professional lives that it is easy to get caught going through the motions. We often get asked, "did you win?", "shouldn't you get that next promotion?", "how many goals did you score?" - these very questions become the center of our self-efficacy. Yet, if there's anything that allows us to further our development, it's not the feigned support of our peers, superiors, and yes, parents. Rather, it's intrinsic. Most importantly, you have to become SOMEONE before you become SOMETHING.

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Powerful, is it not? Without regurgitating all of Janne Mortenson's talk verbatim, I'd like to highlight some key points. Referencing the last sentence of the introductory paragraph, I'd like you to see it in the context of results. We often fall into the trap of letting the results define who we are and let our successes be the only benefactor to our self-esteem. It's a fixed mindset, a box for us to eventually self-sabotage. In the world of anything and everything surrounding GOALS, core values can build an internal locus of control that will create more growth and a competitive spirit within us.

Spend some time setting up a list of your core values to transcend all your activities. Make it replicable, but don't be afraid to set values/goals that will require hard work and tenacity to uphold. Participation is mostly a step - cake batter. The baking, icing, and decoration come from positive growth and willpower. Once you have compiled this developed sense of self, then you can evaluate honestly if you baked well or not. Subsequently, you may submit your work to external critique.

Often unintentionally, coaches, parents, and also peers of athletes can play a role in undermining - the younger the person, the more plastic the mind. Mortenson makes a wonderful point about support for her daughter and the juxtaposition of being both a coach AND a parent. When cycling with her daughter, she found that she only cheered when her daughter used the brakes correctly. What about the times where she was close, or perhaps made an improvement? Why did she not support her more when she was incorrect?

The statistic that the WHO postulates the leading disease will be depression by the year 2030 is jarring, to say the least. Whether subjectivity comes into play is moot, because we still need to shift our holistic worldview on success. At the end of the day, I cannot tell my swimmers who I want them to be. My job is to help them find out what THEY want and who THEY want to be. We are merely lights on a runway ready for takeoff. Where the plane flies is up to the pilot.

Fact of the week: Your self-efficacy and proper ownership of your sport/profession will ALWAYS be created intrinsically FIRST, and from external feedback SECOND. Yes, you have to be able to accept the dichotomy of your own opinions and that of your boss/coach, but if you evaluate yourself honestly, you may find that the level of critique may not be far apart. Focus on the Three Steps listed in the video (12:45 - mark). 1) What are your basic values? 2) How do these values look in action? 3) Consistently live and act by these values, ESPECIALLY when times get tough. All of these things require honesty and tenacity on your part - ownership starts with you, first. We'll be attacking the habits side of this topic in Part 2, where we can get a little more internally critical. Stay tuned and check out YouTube for more!

How does my child move up? Come to every swim class, bring your progress report, earn those stickers, and ask your child's instructor or location's deck manager if you have questions.

How do I move up? Attend as many of your classes as possible, communicate with your instructor on your struggles, goals, and where you're at in our curriculum. We also have many adults who purchase a gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness or LA Fitness while they are taking lessons so they can practice 2-3 times between classes.

Take ownership! You are the architect of your journey! Glad your swimmer is learning to swim with us!

Justin Roy & The Sigma Team

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