Whether it is a change in approach, routine, work ethic, or even a complete overhaul of one’s swing; change is often needed when moving up levels from high school to college or college to pro or even to improve perfromance within the level. No one likes to change, but it is quite important in the development process. There are many obstacles to improving through making a change. Here are just a few to look out for.
1. FEAR OF FAILURE: No one likes looking stupid. Changing an approach or a swing can be difficult and a player will often get worse before they get better. Sometimes, it is important to fail in order to eventually succeed. Failure can teach us how to succeed. Everyone fails. It is important that we learn from our failures and are able to adjust. Never be afraid of looking stupid when trying something new. When you are afraid of looking silly, often what happens is you only give half the effort in making the change in which case you will look worse. This leads us to an important obstacle in change.
2. NO COMMITMENT: You have to commit to change. You can’t do it half way. Struggle now to succeed later. It is easy to say things didn’t work out and revert to old habits. That is the way to never improve. If you decide you are going to make a change, commit to it and improvements will come. There is a phrase that practice makes perfect that has switched to perfect practice makes perfect. I think consistent commited practice reinforces fundamentals. No one is perfect. That will not happen, but if you consistently commit to practicing quality fundamentals, that is what will happen when the games start. This approach of commiting is just as important for coaches as players. If a coach believes in his methods and does not commit to teaching them to his athletes, they will not happen.
3. Obsession with Results: Everyone wants instant success and results. Focus on the process and not the results. If you are commited to your task and are consistent your process for achieving that task, results will take care of themselves. Results can be deceiving as small sample sizes do not often tell someone how their change is working. Make consistent progress and focus on the process and the results will eventually come. This is very hard for someone that had achieved great success before change and now is struggling. If the reason for change was warranted, trust the process. Look at Tiger Woods. He is the greatest golfer ever and he overhauls his swing every few years because he is not content on staying the same. He wants to get better.
Big changes are not always necessary, but if one wants to improve, there is always something that can be tweaked. The same swing that produced at the high school level might not work at the college level and so on. The idea is not to change for the sake of change, but to be open to change when it is necessary.