Too often overlooked to forgotten, the role of balance in sport is so incredibly fundamental that it can be the deciding factor between continuing to place to walking away from the sport altogether. Irrespective of age a clear reflection is evident in mainstream professional standards of the ‘work-life’ balance which talks directly to the role of balance — if handled with genuine intentions. The irony here is that the conversation has been neglected in earlier years that too often when ‘adults’ enter their professional lives this has become quite the foreign concept due largely in part because it was never encouraged nor taught to them in their earlier years.
Work-life balance is synonymous with athlete-life balance
Whilst I am sure that 99% of people have never thought of the concept of balance in children to adolescents prior to their ‘working’ (professional) life, it can clearly be argued by this logic and the role of behavioural conditioning that it should be placed front and centre. But that’s another topic. The issue in question here is around encouraging a level of balance in player to athletes — irrespective of age (but more importantly for the developmental player/athlete) to exemplify (*think model*) these behaviours, but also allow children to be children to teenagers to be teenagers and likewise with young adults be young adults — and hopefully by then the ideals round balance have passed on to the time when work-life balance is time to take its place.
This level of balance begins early on and too often is void from a coach’s pedagogy and in turn parents are non the wiser (but also in part due to their work-life not incorporating a balanced approach). It is never too late to learn or incorporate and by modelling this behaviour allows our athletes to players to develop into more well-rounded adults and also have incredibly benefits to their performances — ensuring they’re kept engaged and play their sport of choice for the long haul, opposed to walking away simply because they wanted ‘more time’ to spend with friends. There are answers and modifications we can make that still feed into optimal performance outcomes — a key reminder to be remember.
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