A few weeks ago I had Performance Coach/Mental Toughness Trainer Kara Zakzrewski offer my clients and their friends a workshop on mental toughness. The turnout was outstanding, we had over 70 families from volleyball clubs all over Southern California in my backyard participating. Kara (pronounced Kutta) provided the girls with real strategies they could use to help them focus on and off the court! They all received toolkits they were able to take home and practice and we had an incredible time.
Kara shared, an athletes mental toughness is just as important as the physical strength, and is the major differentiator between good players and exceptional players. She emphasized the ability to focus, and eliminate all distractions! What impressed me about Kara was her ability to discuss the struggles she faced as a professional athlete and allow her vulnerability to be seen; it allowed her to establish trust, a connection, and a way to relate to the girls.
Many of the examples Kara concentrated on applied to playing volleyball; however, in my experience working with athletes through the recruiting process, I was able to take away the importance of mental toughness to survive the ups and downs in recruiting as well. I have a deep respect for every athletes journey, and by respecting them, it allows them to really open up about what they want their for their future. Once an athlete makes a commitment to play at the next level, they visualize what that looks like and then I challenge them to articulate that experience in an effort to find the “perfect” fit! By making the commitment, the goal has been set and no matter what distractions enter the picture along the way, it’s crucial that I help keep my clients motivated, and on task to accomplish their goals!
Recruiting is a process which takes time and I find a lot of athletes want instant gratification. The ability to stay focused, eliminate distractions (such as others being recruited around you), visualize what your future looks like and work hard toward your goals are lifelong lessons! If your athlete wants to play volleyball in college and you are struggling with where to begin, how to get started or what kind of program will be well suited for your daughter, call me for a FREE consultation. My phone number is 888-354-0052 and my name is Kara Hill. I’m passionate about educating student athletes and their families about how to be successful in this process!