At the age of 14 I was given an ultimatum by my ballet teacher, “Brett you can’t keep coming into my studio with bruises on your knees. Dancers are elegant and flawless. You have to choose one. You can’t do both. It’s either dance or soccer.”
The next day, I remember sitting on my bed scared out of my mind to tell my mom that I was quitting dance to pursue soccer. Was she mad? Sure, but she was more upset and saddened because I was a great dancer and worked really hard for 11 years. I loved dancing and performing but I wanted to compete more and the dance competitions were few and far between. I also wanted to be with my friends and play on my junior high and high school teams.
I started playing soccer much later than the girls on my team which made me play with apprehension. I felt like I was so behind. My teammates had been playing for 11 years, where I had been dancing for 11. They played in summer camps, like ODP, and played on travel teams, which I hadn’t done.
What I did have was agility, quick feet, speed and the hunger for competition. Thanks to dance. But what I really needed was a coach to help me see all of what I couldn’t see. That all of the training in ballet actually translated really well into sports and if I used the same discipline I had with dance I could play in college. I didn't believe in my own ability, I believed the other girls had a leg up on me and that didn’t allow me to be my best. That’s what led me to coaching.
I can’t even imagine where my life would be right now if I had a mental performance coach while I was going through my transition from dance to soccer. A coach could have helped me make sense of it all.
I encourage you to learn more about how a mental performance coach can help your athlete confront their self-belief struggles and include mental skills training to elevate their game on and off the field.
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