Roberta Kraus, PhD. is the President of the Center for Sports Psychology in Colorado Springs. She’s a expert at helping individual players, coaches and teams develop a mental strategies that result in consistently achieving a player’s peak performance. The mental training programs that she’s designed and implemented have a proven track record of improving player performance, communication and team dynamics under pressure.
She’s worked hand in hand with Olympians, Paralympian’s, college programs and athletic departments to enhance athlete performance through mental training techniques. (I’m not talking about lifting weights and doing extra rounds of box jumps here!)
Listening to her presentation at the AVCA Coaches Convention on ‘Resilience Tools and Techniques’ made me realize 2 things about my recent book – Headstrong: The ultimate guide to reducing lapses in concentration, building confidence and finding your zone on the volleyball court.
1) The physiological strategies and lessons advocated by players and coaches in the book are right on target and even backed up by current neuroscience performance research.
2) Never underestimate the importance of recovery.
According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, approximately 70 percent of kids in the United States drop out of sports by time they turn 13 because, “it’s just not fun anymore”. Staleness Syndrome or burnout starts at a young age and continues to plague players and coaches at every level. Athletes and coaches who overtrain, lack life balance and deny themselves critical space for rest and recovery get burt out.
In other words, players and coaches lack resiliency.
Dr. Kraus defines resiliency as, “the capacity of a department, team, coach or athlete to maintain their emotional balance, to empathize, to hope and to persist in the face of frustration”.
So how we cultivate healthy patterns and habits within our team to sustain resilience?
The solution is rest.
It’s so obvious that it seems unnecessary to explain and yet the problem continues to plague so many players and coaches that it needs to be seriously addressed. If you want to stay in the game, you’ve got to have balance in your training with time to recover and explore other passions. Life balance and intentional recovery time are a critical component to developing resilience in players and teams.
And if you don’t already have it, make sure to download the FREE WORKBOOK that accompanies the book.