Championships, season changes, and soaking it all in. It’s that time of year for fall sport athletes. Time for re-dedication and sometimes re-direction to whatever comes next. Before you re-dedicate or re-direct, don’t skip the reflection.
What was the story of your season? Have you taken time to think about it?
Before the season started you probably spent a lot of time dreaming about how it would go. Your hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the season.
When it’s over, we sometimes get in that “okay, next one” mindset and jump to the next season without stopping to take it all in.
Soak It All In
You’ve probably been told by many former athletes to “soak it all in.” “You’ll look back on these days and wish you had really enjoyed it.” You may have dismissed this wise advice and mumbled something about “look who’s trying to re-live their glory days.” Maybe. That might be part of it. But maybe they’re onto something.
As a member of the former athlete club myself, here’s my advice: Before you say “okay next,” it really is a good idea to stop and “soak it all in.”
Now that the former athlete in me has given you sage advice, the sport psychologist in me will explain how to do this. Just like I wouldn’t tell you to FOCUS! without following it up with details, I won’t do that here either.
At Sterling Sport Mindset, we don’t just talk sport lingo, we break it down and make it doable. How does one “soak it all in?” Here you go.
The Story of Your Season
Set a timer for 30-60 minutes.
Find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be interrupted. This can also be done on a solo walk/run if that’s more your thing.
Close your eyes (if you’ve chosen the sitting option) and take yourself back…
The day before practice began:
- What were your goals, hopes, fears, worries?
- How was Day 1?
- What was your mindset as you thought about the season ahead?
- Where you excited, nervous, ambitious, focused, driven?
- What beginning of season message from your coach stuck with you?
- What were those early competitions like?
- What funny moments did you have with your team?
- How about the tough times?
- Which memories will you never forget?
- How did your goals shift?
- How did the rivalry go? Was it your year or theirs?
End of season:
- Did you achieve your goals? Crush them? Fall short?
- How did that last competition feel? What emotions came up?
- Think about the final whistle, the last play, the finish line.
- What hit you in that moment?
- What will you take away? Build on? Grow from?
Soak it all in.
When the timer goes off, jot down any insight you want to remember.
Take a mental snapshot or a highlight video of the season.
Breathe for a moment.
Then celebrate. Celebrate regardless of how the season turned out. You earned that season and the season deserves to be celebrated.
Tell your story. Soak it all in. Celebrate!
Reward yourself for your effort. Doesn’t have to be big, but it needs to be intentional. Here are a few idea that our clients have done recently.
- Get your favorite Starbucks drink & savor it. Congratulate yourself with the first sip.
- Spend an afternoon doing all of your favorite everyday-type things.
- Buy a small item that represents this season and all of the effort you put in.
- Print (yes, actually print–or order it online) and frame a photo that captures your fondest season memory.
However you choose to celebrate the story of your season, make sure to soak it all in.