There’s nothing more disappointing for a coach than when you believe in an athlete and they don’t believe in themselves. And especially when they allow that disbelief to impact their performance. Self-doubt is such a powerful force. It only takes a small dose to cripple a person. I saw it happen today. An athlete I’ve known and worked with for three years now experienced a little pain yesterday. It turned out to be nothing serious physically, but the mental damage was further reaching. It allowed doubt to creep in. Doubt crept in and removed the belief they could be great. The athlete set goals to achieve and has been true to the path through the pursuit of the goal. Now that doubt has introduced itself into the path, it is proving to be a huge obstacle blocking the way.
The pursuit of goals is never a straight line. It is crooked, jagged, and even rough at times. But the pathway does get there as long as you keep going after it.
I don’t believe in giving up on an athlete’s goals. I believe in supporting them through it, and never being the obstacle. I want to help my athlete get over, or around, or to blow up the obstacle. But I need them to be there to do it. An athlete can’t allow doubt to derail the journey, and a coach has to show them the rail continues.