#18: What It Really Takes to Play At The ‘Next Level’

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Talk to most athletes and they’ll say that they want to “level up.”

Whether that means they have aspirations of playing on a higher level team, in a higher classification, competing in college, or simply playing better than they are now – they have their sights set on something greater. 

Which is awesome. The desire is the first step. Unfortunately, that won’t take most athletes far enough. What separates those athletes that want to level up and those that actually do?

In my experience playing at the collegiate level, being a head coach for the past 10 years, and as a mindset coach for high-performing athletes, the ones that actually level up have these things in common…

They Have a Clear Vision

Athletes that play and excel at the next level have vision of what they want. They are specific about what level they want to be playing at, what it will look like when they get there, and what it will feel like to achieve it. 

They hold this vision of the athlete they need to become to compete at that level, then work to be that athlete every day. 

They may not get exactly what they want, depending on how specific they are, but they know that they will absolutely be able to achieve another level of performance by embodying the mindset, habits, and behaviors of the athlete that competes at the level they desire. 

In support of this vision, these athletes also seek out people who have competed/coached at the level they want to be to ask for advice, study how they got there, and emulate their path to success

They Put In the Extra Reps

Now that these athletes have a clear vision, they know that they can’t get there without sweat equity. “There are no shortcuts” as they say. 

They are typically the hardest workers in the gym. The ones that come early, stay late, seek extra training, and embrace all feedback as necessary to getting them closer to their goals. 

They don’t wait on other people to make them work hard. They work hard, raise the level of intensity on their teams, and are relentless in sharpening their strengths and working their weaknesses. 

They Prioritize Their Mental Game

Average athletes who don’t tend to level up miss this important step either because they don’t see the importance, or they don’t know how to do it. 

The best athletes and the ones that compete at higher levels understand that training the mind is just as important as training the body, so they make it a high priority. 

This includes visualizing their success, having a daily mindset routine, establishing clear and effective pre and post competition routines, having strategies to reframe negative self-talk and skills to be able to come back from mistakes quickly (to name a few). 

They seek out ways that they can be supported and guided in the process of improving their mental game because they know that their physical skill can only get them so far. 

As parents/coaches of our female athletes, it’s also your job to support them in their pursuits, provide opportunities, and allow them to access the next level by utilizing these three key drivers to their success! 

Helpful Links:

  • Download the free resources we’ve created for you
  •  Join us inside our FREE Facebook Group – The Elite Competitor Society – for weekly Q&A, periodic trainings and challenges, and the support of an amazing community of moms, coaches, and the men who partner with us!

The BEST way to help us spread the word and get this information into the hands of millions of parents, coaches, and female athletes is by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thank you in advance for joining us on our mission!

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