Any individual interested in participating in sports should know that the journey has its challenges. I spent seventeen years of my life grinding through the process and even though I experienced success in areas, there were negative moments that almost convinced me to become toxic.. How do you know if your presence contaminates the team's culture? Are your thoughts affecting your performance?
Below, I provide traits of a toxic athlete versus someone who is non-toxic.
COMPLAINING: If you find yourself complaining about everything, that is a sign that you need a check up. Obviously, you are dissatisfied or annoyed in some way so it would be helpful to determine if you are making the right decision in pursuing your sport.
EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU: Many athletes do not recognize that they are actually making everything about themselves. It becomes annoying for teammates and coaches to deal with.
BELIEVING YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS: We have all been around a player or two like this. No matter what, they always feel like they have the answer. Athletes should always be collecting new information about the sport for growth.
NEGATIVE THINKING ABOUT OUTCOMES: Individuals who always feel as if the worst is going to happen. Many times over thinking can lead to anxiety and depression which hurts your performance. I can provide examples of their speech in later post
BAD ATTITUDE: All of us have and will experience negativity at times but it is up to you to avoid self-defeating talk. The old saying was sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt. LIES!! What you tell yourself and talk about can shape your life.
NOT FOCUSED ON IMPROVING: As I mentioned above that believing you have all the answers, the same applies to your performance. Athletes should always strive to improve speed, muscle, quickness and any other skills that could benefit their play. The best do not have to be convinced to get work in.
NEGATIVE COMPARISON TO OTHERS: When you find yourself comparing your talents to others, you may fall into the trap of becoming jealous, inferior or inadequate. No one can be you so you can focus more on what you need to work on to be better.
BLAMING OTHERS: When you hold other individuals responsible for your misfortunes, it becomes toxic. That is what I like to call a victim mentality which is counter-productive in my opinion. Take responsibility no matter what.
LETTING THINGS GO: Have you ever been around an individual that struggles to move forward? They still haven’t forgiven themselves for the mistakes they made after a game. Athletes need to develop a strong mentality.
Please remember that your journey will present challenges but keep your mind from becoming toxic as a teammate. It is always better to be positive than negative. If this short blog helped you in any way, please stay tuned because more is on the way.