Although we are all guilty of lacking focus on occasion, all too often student-athletes are more focused on social stature than actually raising the standard of who they want to become.
You may be able to manipulate social media, but it's of much greater difficulty to manipulate a standard. How can you better connect with yourself, to elevate yourself? If you do so, your social focus will fade or resolve itself based on the work you put in, not the work you post about.
A report by Common Sense Media found that 43% of teens check their social media at least hourly. Imagine if even a remote fraction of that amount checked in with themselves more instead of their accounts.
Great athletes and teams significantly distribute more of their time to self-improvement over social impressions. The greatest impression, is being the greatest. Your brand, if you are an athlete, is built on the athletic part. In no way should that be the only part or your identity, but when athletes want to build their brand and then spend more time away from sport, too often the athlete and that brand suffer. Keep the main thing the main thing.
Checking in with yourself will always give you a greater level of focus than checking anywhere else. You don't need to do this hourly, though the greats mindfully work to increase the frequency. Try every morning and night, or before and after practice. Note how you are feeling. Why are you feeling that way? What can you eliminate to improve your focus?
Kendall Cotton Bronk, Associate Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University, who helps run the Adolescent Moral Development Lab, found that simply having teens discuss what matters in their life boosted their sense of purpose. Student-athletes and teens who have purpose or life goals beyond themselves also tend to have a greater well-being. Talk with your team about your goals and team ambitions.
We might be engaging on social media in topics of our interest, but rarely is it engaging in our deeper purposes we have as athletes. If you are a coach, create times during travel when phones are not permitted, create team discussion around unity and joys outside of your sport.
When we engage, reflect and assess we are provided the internal opportunity to raise our standards through self-awareness. If we are constantly, or hourly, going outside of ourselves in search or gratification and joy, we will continue to move further from creating it within.
If you can build the habit of checking in with yourself instead of your social, you'll begin to identify what serves you in becoming the best version of yourself. Simply, throughout your day work to identify and cultivate positive mental states while identifying and eliminating negative mental states.
Photo Credit: Mikolette/iStock
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