Asking others around you
This is the easy one. Simply just ask those closest to the athlete, what are their perceptions, suggestions and or recommendations for improvement. The parents of the athletes all know their own children so incredibly well and very often they will provide some great insights to the coach and the coaching team. It may be the way they are thinking at certain times, their perceptions of situations that their child has raised, or some useful information from their childhood or former coaching days that will add some value.
It is important everyone here is open and honest so that you get the best feedback. Sometimes, people do not want to really say it as it is for fear of hurting the other person. Don’t worry. The athlete knows you have their best interests at heart, so you are actually helping them. That one little gem they provide you can make a big difference. And all you have to do is simply ask!
It is great to focus on all you need to achieve to become a professional athlete, but unless you are happy as a person in other areas of your life too, then it becomes so much tougher to enjoy your success and give of your best. I have seen many athletes do an almost perfect preparation for an important event only to have it go down the drain as a result of not addressing some other issues in their lives or having a fight with a partner, or family member and be angry and upset.
Don’t forget to focus on the other important areas of your life too, like family, friends and your education too if you are still studying. I always like my athletes to do fun goals and set up rewards for when they achieve their small goals along the way.
Remember, winning is a journey not a destination!
That great winning feeling after the big championship win actually only lasts a short time. It is the journey along the way to achieving it that is most important. Love and enjoy each step of the way.
There are lots of other assessments that might be done such as vision testing, (see chapter 4) podiatric assessment, biomechanical analysis, hydration tests, etc which could also be completed if your coaching team feels it is necessary. You do not need to go overboard! We are already going into lots of detail.