• Liz Lucas

How standards can propel you to success

When it comes to collegiate athletics there are a set of standards put out by the NCAA that require all student athletes to maintain a certain class schedule and GPA. This the bare minimum standard that MUST be met in order for that athlete to participate in competition. What if we took this big idea and applied it to the micro-level of each individual athlete, to you? What standards do you hold yourself to when it comes to life and to your sport? What level of quality do you set for yourself to compete at your best?

What would you say if I told you, your standards play a huge role in your success as an athlete? More so than those expectations of success you have created for yourself? However, take a look at the definitions of both words and you decide which one you truly have more power and control over?

Expectations: A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future

Standards: an agreed level of quality

We expect to win this game or that game, we expect to win this tournament. What happens when these expectations are not met? We are left frustrated, disappointed and unsatisfied. In the rare case it is a source of motivation. However, most often this motivation wears off because the results are so far in the future. Future aspirations are great, yet, without the actionable steps in the present it is incredibly hard to maintain motivation. These are when expectations fail. Expectations miss the mark because they are usually filled with things out of our control and attempt to predict the future. This is where standards can save the day.

The future is out of our control, the present is the only place where we have any power.

It is common knowledge that results/ success are a buildup of skills, experience and hard work. In sports it is in the form of practice and training. The standards that are present here are huge contributing factors when it comes to competition.

Standards are the routines and practices that you do each and every time you practice or perform. It is an expectation to show up to practice and it’s the standard to come to practice with the intensity and focus to improve. Is it your standard to go through the motions of training or take an active role in getting better? Is it a standard to run between drills, to cheer on teammates, do your mental repetitions, practice positive self-talk, to work on weaknesses, to be a student of your sport, to get enough sleep, to stay hydrated, to ask questions? The list goes on, these standards are actions you can control and the consistency of these standards are what will make you an overall better performer.

What standards do you currently live by and train by? What standards does your team have and what standards do you hold to?

What ideas would you like to convert into your personal standards? Let me know

When I played softball some of my standards for practice were

- Enter practice with a focus to improve my game, to get a little bit better

- hustle between each drill

- be vocal on the field

- ask questions for full understanding

- I wanted to fail during practice to see where my limits were and to work to get better

- Getting proper rest before competitions

- Going through mental reps during our warm up

- To zone in on the nuances of each movement to become more efficient

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