Close your eyes and imagine yourself learning to swim for the first time. Who taught you how to swim? Whoever it was, was by your side, if not clenched tight by your hand, every step of the way. With a mixture of fear, perhaps a big smile, and maybe a cry here and there, the rush of mixed emotions about learning to confront one of Earth’s largest elements is daunting…but you had HELP.
Knowing you had the help of your mom, dad, brother, sister, etc…put you at ease. Your mom warned you not to breathe in through your nose underwater, but you probably did it anyway! Your dad told you not to jump in unsupervised, but you did it anyway! Your brother warned you not to open your eyes underwater for too long, but you did it anyway! (holler to all our fellow stubborn people) Regardless of what you were told, you had to learn for yourself. Often referred to as “learning the hard way.” This is a great learning mechanism in this scenario, but how does this differ from learning a mental skill?
There is not a specific time in our childhood where our parents say…” OK, it’s time to learn how to overcome disappointment!” It just happens in life. We don’t necessarily learn the wrong or right way to cope. Dependent on our personality types, some may seek comfort and guidance while others may hold it in and remain stubborn in their ability to be independent. These feelings can be confusing and improper coping mechanisms can develop thought patterns and habits that aren’t always healthy for future success.
Unlike being told not to jump in the pool and doing it anyway…the consequences with mental skills are different. Especially when it involves the most complex organ (the brain). The consequences or impact of being told “don’t feel that way” and then feeling “that way” anyway go far deeper.
Our point here…when learning new skills (most becoming lifelong skills) we have received help, guidance, and support at a young age. There seems to be a disconnect between the importance and resources necessary to learn and grasp physical skills compared to mental skills as early in our maturing years as possible.
There is absolutely no doubt that learning mental skills like overcoming disappointment at a young age WILL BE LIFE CHANGING.
WE HAVE GREAT NEWS. That is why we are here. RISE mentors are on a mission to connect the physical skills to the mental skills. We recognize every athlete, every person has different learning curves and different experiences, but we want to make “learning the hard way” a little easier. The younger these mental skills are communicated and learned how to cope with and overcome, the better. The amount of personal success that can be reached by having a RISE mentor and having these conversations is unsurpassable.