In a previous Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHNqptjsHF8 I discussed the aim of the coach is to have the athlete, BE THEIR OWN BEST COACH.
For an athlete to remain at the top of ‘their game’, to be able to compete at the highest level of their sport, then being their own best coach is essential. It means that they know their game inside out!
It means when the athlete sits down to map out their off-season, their pre-season, their in-season, their in-game, their post-game preparation & playing, the athlete knows his or her game so well that they could do this without help.
Of course like all very good leaders, very good performers in whatever field, they seek ways to improve ‘their game’.
The mature athlete will look at all their skills – technical, physical, mental, tactical, and look at all their current benchmarks. With these in mind, and the possibility that age or injury or rule changes or other factors outside their control demand some addition or change to their skill repertoire, the elite athlete or star performer will set about making the needed changes – possibly sometimes compensating one diminishing skill with improvements in others.
The second critical factor for an elite athlete remaining at the top, is the need for their training and out of competition environment to be one that is stimulating, challenging and constantly testing the athletes benchmarks.
In this way the athlete can move beyond the 10,000hrs concept and engage in DEEP PRACTICE. It is in this environment that the athlete learns most about themselves, and the skills of performance. It is here where the athlete can –
- ‘feel’ what best performance means.
- Establish the ‘rhythm’ needed to perform
- Lose themselves in the ‘flow’ of the activity so necessary for it to be automatic come game time
In summary, for the athlete to remain at the top, he or she needs to –
- Know their own game inside out
- Use the benchmark skills as the base points for improvement
- Have an environment which will provide the athlete with every opportunity to do the first two points