“Play Present” is a term that we first heard from Graham Betchart. We had the privilege of interviewing him on STTPodcast.com. Since then, I started to notice this phrase being used more and more. Questioning what is going on around you is something we have always taken pride in at STT. So we wanted to know more. Is there a benefit to being in the moment as an athlete? A student? A coach? A mother, father, daughter, or brother?

It is difficult to ask someone “Are you with me?” with all the stimulation and stress that comes at all of us in a multitude of directions. But can what has occurred be changed? Do you really control all of the outcomes in the future? Most likely you said no to both of these questions. So the only thing that can truly matter is this very moment. Can you inspire a young player to focus on making the best pass? Be the best teammate? And “flush” what just occurred regardless of whether the outcome was successful or not.

Related Articles:
One Percent Advantage To Gain An Edge
Know Your Player’s Name

Personally I would like to challenge ALL coaches who read this article to create an environment that supports learning through failure. I challenge parents to be supportive of a player taking a calculated risk, trying something new that can add to his/her game while improving the overall team capabilities; better yet I challenge you to encourage a player that is NOT your own son/daughter. I challenge each teammate to be excited when they see a teammate trying something new or being active “away from the ball”. I challenge each player individually to embrace fear and adversity as an opportunity to demonstrate how much preparation you have put into the “big moment” when no one was watching.

Being present is something that is easy to say. It is probably too easy to roll off the tongue quite honestly. “Take a risk” and “have no fear” are two others that quickly come to mind that coaches, parents, and teammates say without hesitation. But as you ask your players to risk what others won’t, there has to be a sense of emotional stability. If they do take the risk, will they be supported 100% regardless of outcome? A sincere unconditional emotional appreciation for trying to expand themselves as players, teammates, and people?

I have been at too many practices to count as a player and even more as a coach, and I can say with certainty that feeling “safe” at practice is not something that is common. Today’s athletes are experiencing more stress that we can imagine. We don’t need to film every practice, critique every rep, and evaluate every game. It is all supposed to be fun. Where did that aspect of being an athlete go?

Coaches please control the content you share on social media. Make sure that what you are sharing is a brand that represents the athlete’s “best self”. I want to walk into a gym where there are no cameras, no media, and no recruiters and just see young athletes having fun, messing up and laughing about it, learning from the mistakes and making adjustments, picking one another up and encouraging a teammate to “keep shooting”, then I will know we found a team that will become great. Not one of us ever started out incredible at anything worth doing. We all were “rookies” at some point. We all looked for support from those we looked up to. We all became more confident with success. And we all appreciated the glory that comes with achievement under the bright lights.

Please support your teammates, coaches, administration, and parents unconditionally. The stories that are made today will be the memories we elaborate on in the coming years.

Listen to Patrick Estes from PE Training Systems as he shares a bit about how the brain works with regard to learning, being present, and overcoming adversity on the video below.

Learning what has worked for others is always invaluable. Seeing it first hand is priceless. Learn from incredible professionals from around the country at the professional development clinics and our annual conference on STTEvents.com.

Be sure to take advantage of the offer from NutraBio.com. Use code STTSUPZ when you check out today!

Please remember to order your STT shirts now from TheLoyalist.com/stt. Proceeds from the Fight Strong and Sara Strong shirts will be anonymously donated to cancer research and a Lyme Disease Center respectively.

Thank you to all of our sponsors! Rogers Athletic, Iron Grip, Pit Shark, VersaClimber, Recovery Pump, Elite Form, Eleiko, Rumble Roller, Human Kinetics, Fat Gripz, Lock Jaw Collars, Hand Armor Liquid Chalk, and the many others that have all been supportive throughout our journey. Please connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.