"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail"
Now, to start off I just want to make it clear that personally I am not a fan of generic quotes, but at the same time, they may work wonders for other people. I mean this in the sense that I do not plaster them all over my room because I feel that they eventually lose value. In addition to this, they usually come from a certain type of person. Either a famous person or an expert. This is all well and good, but, they are usually people who can articulate what they want to say in so many words. A skill that I do not possess. Despite this, I may still think these things and the main point of what I am saying is that if quotes work for you, then tailor a quote to yourself and make it powerful and personal. A process that we could explore together!
The spiel above really has nothing to do with what I wanted this blog to be about. The blog itself is intended to be about exactly what the title says. I wanted to elaborate on an experience that I have recently had and see how this can translate into the experience of an athlete.
My experience has come primarily as a trainee sport and exercise psychology consultant. The experience has involved a wide array of ups and downs, however, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding has been the development of this website and resultantly this blog.
Now this was exciting for a number of reasons:
It provided a platform for me to advertise my services.
It provided a platform for me to demonstrate my area of expertise.
It was an illustration finally of all my studying, reading, writing and research coming to fruition.
However, it was challenging for the following reasons:
I had never written a blog, let alone developed a website.
I had to find a clear and concise way of marketing myself effectively.
I had to be introspective in identifying what exactly it is that I can offer and how this can best be offered to clients.
They don’t teach you much of this in your psychology degree! This meant that my introspection and reflection would lead me to do further research, reading and writing in search of the answers for these questions. With time, I found some answers and felt comfortable enough to pursue this avenue.
A process that I have begun to follow involves 3 stages that I believe can be applied to a performance environment too.
You can deduce what the various stages may have involved for me. However, what is important is the practical implications of this experience for you and your performance. The education phase for an athlete would be understanding exactly what it is that is required of them. This could involve an athlete learning certain structures that are associated with the game plan. This may be done in a classroom type setting or listening to an audio or even watching a video. The implementation and practice phase would involve physically going out and repeating the skill or structure that is required of them. This then gives the athlete the confidence and ability to perform the skill within a performance/pressure environment.
Therefore, if there were a take home message from this blog, it would be to always prepare yourself in the best way possible. That may involve a variety of tasks relevant to your goal or context, but try take a holistic approach to this.