Preparing physically and mentally to reach peak performance in sport is the recipe for success – we have heard it all before. However, at the end of the day, when we hear a lot of athletes speak on why they love their sport and what keeps them going there is a reoccurring theme: SUPPORT. Relationships that we build within sport are some of the most important in our lives. The coaches who mentor us, the teammates that will be there in and out of sport and what we build along the way is such a large part of your success.
The relationships athletes develop during sport can lead to a lot of different outcomes. Higher levels of self-esteem, greater self-awareness, emotional regulation and overall just more enjoyment within activities leading to higher levels of elite performance, success, and lower levels of burn-out.
Here is a quote from one of our RISE mentors, Olympic Gold Medalist (Waterpolo, 2012) Betsey Armstrong about what her proudest moments in athletic career were:
“Going to the Olympics, representing my country and winning those medals are undoubtedly some of the proudest moments of my life. But when I recall what it was all like and the moments that stand out, are the things that make me smile the biggest and laugh (out loud to myself) are the moments I spent with my teammates, being in an unbelievably special place, doing what we had loved so much and what we had worked so hard for. And when I say work, I don’t mean lifting heavy weights or swimming countless laps (but there was a lot of that, like a lot a lot). I mean the real, deep, unfiltered work of self-reflection, relationships, communication. Getting real with ourselves so that we could get real with one another and do something epic.
Winning, glory and fame are cool, but then it goes away, it isn’t sustainable. It’s the things that don’t go away that are the most important, the things that will still make you grin ear-to-ear. It’s these moments that are my proudest moments.”
So take the time to notice who is around you, who lifts you, who supports you, and keep those people close – as ultimately they will be most important reward you will have.