Are You Fully Using Your Athletic Support System?

No one can make it to the top alone. Do you fully appreciate the people in your athletic support system?

Athletic Support System

Athletes often focus exclusively on their efforts to reach success. However, no one can do it on their own. Athletes must rely on their coaches, trainers, parents and teachers. Their support systems often go unrecognized, yet they are critical components in developing their game. (See Build an Athlete Support Network.)

Establishing a strong support system will help you hone your skills, provide emotional encouragement and supply whatever else you may need. Each person is there for a reason. However, the success of a support system is not all their responsibility. As athletes, we have a responsibility to the people who support us. For a support system to be effective, we must do the following three things.

Determine who's most suitable to provide support for a specific situation

Every member of a support system provides a different kind of support. It's our responsibility to determine whom to rely on at any given time. For example, if you set a weight room goal for yourself, you should reach out to your strength and conditioning coach for support. (See also Finding a Good Support System.)

Listen to their advice

It may seem obvious, but we often tend to disregard instructions, especially when they are not what we want to hear. Using the weight room example, say your coach gave you tips on how to improve your form on the Bench Press. It now becomes your responsibility to actually use his or her suggestions. You chose your coach to help you. If  ignore their advice, you are not using their support to its full potential. Trust your supporter to lead you in the right direction and be the best you can be.

Thank the members of your support system

This is important for all athletes. People in your support system have made an investment in helping you be the best athlete you can be. Remember to thank them for their time and efforts on your behalf.

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