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An Athletes’ Fork in the Road; Which Way Will Your Attitude Take You?

By NBC Intern and College Athlete Faith Emerson

As an volleyball athlete you feel a range of emotions each day in practice. Whether it be excitement from scoring, anger from being scored on, or frustration with learning a new skill. Emotions play an important part in volleyball performance; however, it is equally as important to control your attitude regardless of your emotions. While emotions are something you cannot control, attitude is absolutely within your control. Ultimately, your attitude can affect your game in one of two ways; negatively or positively. As the saying goes: “90% of the game of basketball is played above the shoulders.” Attitude is a choice. You must choose to be resilient. You have to choose to be coachable. You choose to work harder than your opponents, even in the face of failure. A positive attitude is the different between a win and a loss; between getting better and getting worse. Skill development does not just apply to physical moves. As a basketball player you should look to improve your mental game simultaneously. Part of mental skill development is controlling your attitude especially in the face of adversity. Like any other skill, self control takes practice. When you feel yourself start with negative “self talk” such as “I can’t.” or “I am not good enough.” Practice pulling yourself from that slippery slope. Reframe the situation. Turn every mistake you make on the court into a learning experience; grow from it and move on. Do not let negative feelings affect your effort. But rather, channel your feelings into more positive attitudes like: gratitude and enthusiasm.

Remember that you are blessed with the ability to preform athletically, not everyone is so fortunate. Remind yourself daily that you chose this sport because you love it. Gratitude will help you reframe a negative situation into a positive one.
Be enthusiastic! As athletes we are choosing to play the sport we love. Enjoy the process. Soak up every minute of it, because it’s not forever.

Once you get the hang of keeping your mental game positive you will be unstoppable on the court. By opening yourself up to all the possibilities of a world without “I can’t” you are able to achieve excellence.

 

NBC Volleyball Camps offer training for athletes ages 11-19 located in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii, Washington and California. Find a program near you-- www.nbccamps.com/vollyeball

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