Hello guys, it really has been a while, have been so busy with life. Let's jump right in today discussion.
One of the most important ingredients for an athlete's or team's success is the ability to feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. It seems like a play on words but it is what happens when you train yourself to get out of your comfort zone .
When we are called for a team building course we often have the illusion that our intervention should be fun: we play team games, we laugh together and so we improve cohesion. However, if a good job need to be done, initially the team will be struggling with the discomfort because it will be forced out of the comfort zone and will be forced to confront their areas of improvement..
AN INVISIBLE ENEMY
Being able to build something positive from that initial discomfort is what mentally "strengthens" the team and the individual athletes. As we all know with experience there is always a very important moment and it is one in which the team must choose whether to accept to get in the game to the end or return to schemes that are well known, that are more "comfortable" but that are often dysfunctional. The comfort zone is a powerful enemy in sport because it leads to complacency and adaptation, in a negative sense of the term. The team who can go further when the situation becomes critical is the one who usually win. This is what makes great players stronger: they live in adversity.
THE WORK OF THE SPORTS COACH
The task of every sports trainer is to help athletes increase their tolerance to discomfort (mental and physical). A beautiful phrase that gives a good idea of what we are saying is: "Temporary discomfort leads to permanent improvement."
If you are willing to leave your comfort zone now, you will reap the benefits 10 times in the future. But you must have the courage to sacrifice your immediate personal satisfaction.
This point is very difficult to understand for some. And the most frequent justifications for returning to the comfort zone are many: "but we do not need this ...", " in the field only counts how good we are at achieving points ...", etc.
This are challenges sports coaches face in teamwork. There must be team allies , but allies that are a bit "uncomfortable" : those that sometimes tell you what you don't want to hear or make you see what you don't want to see. There is a moment when the frustration , due to leaving the comfort zone, rises.
But the mentally robust teams (or athletes) know that there is energy, contained in frustration, if well managed can be the engine of change and improvement. Sometimes, paradoxically, when you start a mental training course things instead of improving seem to get worse. This is a good sign that the work is getting on in the right way and the task of every coach is to accompany the team to face this temporary "crisis" to learn new awareness and new strategies.
Comfort: this is the key to habit. The habit is convenience because it shortens the journey between us and a decision to be made and gives us the illusion of simplifying life. In this way, we end up reasoning more and more in the same way, making our mind work in increasingly narrow areas and repeating the same phrases without saying