The message that we're sending to our children is loud and clear: we want you to excel at sports, so you'd better do it. We want to see you become an athletic star, regardless of your interest (and often skill level). Until we let go of our collective dreams of athletic super-stardom, of touchdowns and home runs, we will continue to negatively affect our children's psyches.
What is it that makes some athletes persevere while others give up? What drives an athlete at all? It's of course impossible to know if an athlete will 'make it' until they actually do but, in my mind, the root of this perseverance is planted in four simple things: a love of the sport, the desire to improve, being satisfied with small, incremental improvements and patience. In a word -- grit.
I know that becoming more athletic was part of how I managed to grow out of the unhealthy, unfit and unhappy teenage version of myself. I see this same pattern in many of my clients. The ones who have managed to make long-term lifestyle changes have all, in one way or another, found their "inner athlete." Here are some tips to finding your inner athlete.