Every camp that I’ve ever had in the last 10 years gave me so many amazing learning experiences! Every time I got to enjoy observing all of the learning processes that athletes have, all of their reflections, insights, questions, their dedication, perserverance, strength of will and mindset growth!
And even though I am there to coach and teach them, every single time I get to learn SO MUCH from them! That’s what I love so much about my coaching job – if you set an intention for expansion, you will always learn and expand from everything and everyone!
At our last goalkeeper camp, which was held a few days ago in Kisakallio, I loved witnessing a shift of a very common limiting belief that many young athletes have, which went in one day from: “I am not good enough. They are much better than me, that’s why they can do it and I can’t. I can’t do that exercise, so I am not even going to try.” into: “Ok, I think I understand what you are trying to tell me – I will fail only if I don’t try. Maybe it’s ok to make mistakes along the way. I am never failing, I am always learning.”
All that it took for me to get that result was to find a way and appropriate approach, to create enough of safe space for them to feel encouraged to at least try and to know that they are supposed to fail for a few times before they are able to perform properly certain movement.
We, coaches, should always be able to create that safe space of trust and belief for the athletes, especially for the young ones! We should teach them that the way to become “perfect” in any exercise or movement is through being willing to fail again, and again, and again…
One of the main principles in my coaching philosophy is that “failure” actually means “feedback” and that we are all supposed to not be perfect right away.
I mean, where did we all get this idea about the need to be “perfect” right away in first try out of something new we are learning to do? Why do we let young athletes believe that they are not allowed to fail and if they do fail, that means they are not good enough?! Why do we let them believe that if someone else from the team makes the movement or exercise in a good way, that means that other player is better than them?!!!
We need to be able to notice all these limiting beliefs and help young athletes to transform them into empowering ones!
We should always do all what we can to teach them all these “life lessons” alongside with sport specific skills, because no matter in which sport you are coaching, if you are truly passionate about giving your best in what you do – you will make it easy and achievable for young athletes to build up also their mental and emotional strength together with physical part of it.
Be humble. Listen. Hear them out. Observe. Notice. Learn from them. Believe in them so much that they don’t have any other choice but to start to believe in themselves too! <3