Updated: Mar 8, 2021
"Empathy is about finding echos of another person in yourself." - Mohsin Hamid
Part 3 of developing empathy and becoming a better athlete.
If you are going to develop mastery and be your best self, it takes time, focus, and a selfish obsession. Athletes also need their team of support to guide, motivate, support, and help them to achieve their dreams.
If you have read part one and two of this blog, you know how your egocentric mindset can affect your performance because it can compromise your relationships with your team of support. You are also aware and have been practicing how to apply empathy to help strengthen and repair those relationships as well. In part three, we will dive into how you can make empathy and relationship building part of your daily routine.
To stay grounded in the present moment, to show empathy, to selfishly obsess to achieve your goals, and to be open to nurture your relationships with others, takes consistent practice and action. Here are some final tips to set your intention with your team.
As athletes, it’s important to step up as leaders and to be a good teammate. Here are tips to build better relationships with teammates: (Warner, 2018)
1. Set the standard. This means that you live up to the standards and culture of the program / team. It also means that you take the time to live up to your personal values and standards as well.
For example, you show up early to practice because it gives you the time to prepare and warm up; taking time to properly warm up before practice and cool down afterwards to take care of your body; eating nutritious foods and making sure you have the necessary fuel in your body for practices and competitions; making sure to get enough sleep at night so you feel rested and refreshed; taking care of your aches and pains vs just trying to ignore it and make it worse; and balancing out your sport with other things that are important to you as well, this includes your relationships.
2. Talk the talk and walk the walk. Make sure to bring the right attitude to practice and competition. Your actions and attitude have a ripple effect. A great attitude will focus your intentions and expectations on improvement, giving your best effort, and to make the process fun. If you stay consistent with your personal expectations and beliefs, you will find that at the very least, you will attract teammates that share your outlook. At best, you will find your whole team following your lead because attitude and actions are infectious! A great attitude consists of optimism, positivity, and enjoying the process.
3. Dare to be great by empowering others to be great. Success breeds success. When you take the time to encourage and help others to improve and accomplish their goals, you are helping them to be confident and courageous. When you are able to inspire others, they will do the same for you! Be it through their words of encouragement, or through their actions, as seen in their breakthrough moments, like seeing others accomplish things that seemed impossible to them at the start of the season!
4. Gratitude is an attitude, be humble with success and take ownership of your mistakes. It’s important to celebrate your successes. However, remember to recognize your team of support that helped to get you there as well. They are all invested in you, so don’t forget to express gratitude as well! On the other hand, when things go wrong, don’t blame others or make excuses. Mistakes are moments to learn from and part of the process. Accept it, own it, learn from it, and improve on it!
5. Make It Bigger Than You. When you take the time to invest in others, you raise the bar for yourself. The reason, when you dedicate your time and energy for your team, you create a greater sense of purpose for yourself. When it’s bigger than you, the investment is in showing up and being in service to others. It comes down to creating a bigger “Why” for yourself. “He who has a why can bear any how.” - Viktor Frankl
When you can do these things, you are not only committing yourself to excellence, you define your purpose, and are taking the time to solidify your legacy.
Remember: Selfish Obsession + Empathy + Team of Support + Supporting Others + Gratitude = Greatness
Reference Warner, I. (2018, July 12). How to Be a Great Track and Field Teammate. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.stack.com/a/how-to-be-a-great-track-field-teammate