How We Should Be Communicating With An Athlete
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How We Should Be Communicating With An Athlete

The struggle of being an athlete with no honest expectations.

How We Should Be Communicating With An Athlete

I am an athlete. I have defined myself in this way ever since I can remember. Being an athlete is a privilege that I will never take for granted, but it does not come without frustration. I have battled injuries and teammates and coaches every step of the way. The injuries have always gotten better, and I have left behind the teammates who were too selfish, but for some reason, there has never been a season without frustration. For some reason, I never know exactly what is expected of me.

This problem can be boiled down to two reasons: I expect more out of myself than anyone else ever will, and sometimes coaches struggle to share their expectations with their athletes. The first reason I will never be able to escape, but I hope to someday escape the second.

Every coach I have had has been different, and amazing, but for some reason, they have all struggled with the same things. None of them have ever been able to tell me exactly what they want me to do. They have never given me an exact plan. It's always very vague, and usually ends with "if you're feeling like you can". My biggest problem with this statement is that it gives me room to make excuses and room to ignore my expectations for myself. It doesn't demand me to perform.

I can understand why coaches are hesitant to give an athlete high expectations. We are our own form of crazy, and we do not know how to fail. But, when you don't give us room to fail, then you aren't giving us room to grow. I would much rather give everything that I have and fall short than to give half of what I have and meet the expectations. I think that every athlete feels similar to myself. I mean, we wouldn't do what we do if we didn't love to push ourselves past the point of exhaustion.

I wish that coaches would be 100 percent honest with their athletes about what they expect and that athletes were one hundred percent honest to their coaches about what they expect from themselves. If both people gave their honest opinion, then I think that athletics would be pushed to an even higher level. Open and honest communication is the only way that a team is going to be the best it can be, and unfortunately, that communication must start with the coaches.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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