Letting Go of Superstar Expectations
In the world of sports, the phrase “The NEXT Big Thing” is frequently thrown around with up and coming athletes that show promise, creating high expectations for these athletes.
Without a doubt, it’s great to be recognized for your ability and talent within your sport.
“The next big thing” tag can be validation for all your hard work and efforts.
The following are examples of athletes who have drawn such high praise for their abilities and accomplishments within their sport…
Eighth grade basketball player Elijah Fisher has been described by his coach at Grassroots Elite (Canada) Ro Russell as “Elijah could be the best player to ever come out of Canada.”
High school junior quarterback Eli Brickhandler has been referred to as “He’s the next big thing for quarterbacks in the state of California.”
After a strong showing at Wimbledon and the US Open, 15-year-old Coco Gauff has been touted as “the next big thing” in tennis, even drawing some comparison to Venus and Serena Williams.
These elite labels are such a high honor but also carry with them excessively high expectations. Living up to the “NEXT Big Thing” tag can be overwhelming.
These athletes feel tremendous pressure to prove coaches and the media right. Not only do you need to be the best you can be, you have to be better than someone who has already achieved top status in their sport.
The pressure of such high expectations causes many young athletes to fall short of their potential and even drop out of their sport at an early age.
In US soccer, there have been countless players labeled as the “NEXT Big Thing.” This label has been thrust upon US Soccer 18-year-old fullback Sergino Dest…
Dest, who recently started his first game for the US Men’s National Team, also started matches internationally for AJAX, the most successful club in the Netherlands.
Instead of succumbing to the high expectations and pressure of being labeled the “NEXT Big Thing,” Dest was singularly focused on playing his game, improving, and taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to him.
DEST: “[The US Men’s National Team gave] me a chance in preseason to play with the first team and it went very well. My focus was like, I want to stay there and I don’t want to go back to the second team. So I played really well, and they gave me more chances and I succeeded with those chances.”
It’s great for other to believe in your abilities. It is amazing to hear that other see tremendous potential within you.
However, you don’t have to be the “NEXT Star.” Just focus on being the best version of you each week.
You want to let go of the high expectations so you can compete without the undue pressure thrust upon you by other people.
Overcoming Labels: the Next Big Thing
Instead of focusing on being the “Next Big Thing,” focus on the “Next Thing,” or what’s right in front of you.
What do you need to do NOW to be at your best? How will you improve today or this week?
Focus on being the best version of you rather trying to live up to the expectations of being some other accomplished athlete.
Improve Concentration in Sports!
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Concentration and the ability to focus under adversity is what championship athletes do best.
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- How to use pre-shot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.
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Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying about our mental game programs?
“As a result of reading and implementing ‘The Confident Athlete Series,’ I am once again enjoying golf and letting bad shots roll off my shoulders and appreciating my good shots without attaching expectations. Thanks Dr. Cohn!”
~Stu Blasius, P.G.A. Golf Professional
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent