For the amateur athlete, there are countless resources that explain how to improve on the mechanics of any given sport. Yet, very little has been said about the mental preparation needed to perform at the highest level, an aspect that is of equal importance to the physical side. Filling that void, Jennifer L. Etnier’s Bring Your “A” Game is an invaluable tool for young athletes who want to get their head in the game.
Now, we want to direct your attention towards the newest extension of Jennifer Etnier’s fantastic work on the mental side of sports–her companion blog, Bring Your “A” Game. There, you can find any and all information about Bring Your “A” Game: from the upcoming author appearances in Greensboro, NC to video introductions for athletes, parents, and coaches, and most importantly, commentary from Etnier about the the biggest topics in sports. Interested in the saga of Urban Meyer’s retirement (and subsequent unretirement) as the head coach for the University of Florida’s football team? Take a look at one recent post, “Burnout in Coaching.” Wondering what will happen as tennis star Serena Williams returns to a major competition, the first since her rage-filled, John McEnroe-inspired exit from the U.S. Open? Then check out Jennifer Etnier’s newest entry, “Dealing with Officials.” Etnier writes,
Obviously, this event provides a teachable moment for athletes from all sports. It is worthwhile for athletes to ask themselves these questions: How do you react to officials? Can you control your emotions in response to what you perceive to be incorrect decisions by an official? Do you let a “bad” call by an official take you out of the game? Being able to control your emotions, to put a “bad” call behind you, and to focus on those aspects of the competition that are within your control are mental toughness skills that are displayed by the athletes who are the most successful in their sport. It is important for athletes striving to develop their mental toughness to gain an awareness of their reactions to officiating and to learn to control those reactions so that their performance is not hurt.
If you are a young athlete, or if you know one, Jennifer L. Etnier’s timely online commentary will offer expert lessons in sportsmanship and mental training that can help anyone get ahead in the game. Now if only someone had told Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella about it before he threw that fit you see at the top of the page.