As a coach, have you ever noticed the players on your team who are stepping back, away from the action, and are standing there...watching the game as it takes place right in front of them. It appears as if they are holding back or pulling themselves away from being proactive and actively participating in different game-time situations. The teammates and coaches will remind them of their roles and responsibilities in those situations but they continue to refrain or refuse to step up and into the action. It looks like they are spectators.
Is their decision to pull back in certain game-time situations based upon negative thoughts or judgments that they have made about themselves or what they perceive as no-win situations? Are they acting like spectators, and not stepping into the action, because they are concerned or afraid of making a mistake, being embarrassed by a better player or looking bad to their teammates or parents who are watching the game? Are they worried more about what they don't want to see happen and have also convinced themselves that they will only make matters worse for their team if they try to do something?
The following are a series of steps that you can take to help these athletes stop being a spectator and become a player:
* Identify their personal strengths as a player and how they can support the team
* Mentally focus on what they want to do or achieve, and not what they fear will happen
* Understand that mistakes will happen and that they can learn from each mistake
* Create a compelling story about why they want to play this particular sport
* Know what they control and not worry about what they don't control
* Ask questions that put them in a positive and proactive state of mind
* Play in the now and only focus on the present moment