In the last few weeks, how many times have we heard that “nothing will be the same again” that “habits or processes will have to be reviewed” or that “organizations are going to have to reinvent themselves”? in this chorus of questions, what about our young athletes who, used to the frantic rhythms dictated by their agendas, are waiting to get back to training? Are they all happy with this return to “normal”? One of our counsellors decided to speak to them.
About a month has passed since Minister Charest announced the resumption of sporting activities. Talk about a boost for the morale! We can finally see our teammates, our friends and our coaches again. We can finally be active like “before” and practice the discipline we love so much. We can finally resume intensive training and devote all those hours to perfecting our techniques. Finally, we are able to make the tonnes of sacrifices and compromises to excel in our sport and reach our standards of performance. Were you not just as excited by this recovery?
No? You didn’t experience this “excitement” like others and you are confused?
You have the right and I almost feel like telling you that it’s normal. As you experienced for yourself, the isolation and the complete shutdown of sporting activities led us to reflect on our lifestyle, sometimes even to the point of questioning it. It allowed us to devote our time to other occupations, other passions or other hobbies. For example, maybe you helped your parents with the landscaping or did some woodworking with your father-in-law. Maybe you discovered the culinary world with your brothers and sisters. Others may have taken advantage of this period to rest or reflect upon themselves. In this sense, regardless of the way you experienced this “break from sports”, it may have allowed you to review the value of sport and the place that sport takes in your life. This break may have led you to seek a better balance with the other areas of your life, other interests? Why not?
Unlike the majority of athletes who were relieved to return to a pre-COVID-19 rhythm, others like you are inclined to reflect on what they really want or what drives them. In fact, the very essence of practicing a sport and the reasons why they evolve may have changed. Hence, a young athlete who was previously focused solely on performance and results, may now see their sport or practicing a sport as an effective lever that allows them to develop a multitude of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, regardless of their age and skill level. In this sense, some now see sport as a way to develop as an individual rather than as an athlete. Besides, others will make more room for their other passions: they will continue to practice the sport that they love so much, but without putting all their eggs in one basket.
The goal of the reflection that I am sharing with you today is to normalize with you the fact that certain athletes did not jump for joy when they found out that the busy schedule and all the other occupations related to their sport were going to resume. I am talking to you, the athlete who wants to reach their full potential in their sport without however feeling this need to devote as much time, sacrifices and energy towards the pursuit of excellence. You have the right to feel that way. You don’t have to feel bad about it. You can continue to want to reach your full potential in your support without aiming for perfection. You have the right to focus on all the benefits that sport provides for your long-term well-being and your physical and mental health. You have the right to seek a balance and devote more time to other passions. You have the right to remain active for your own simple pleasure without pressuring yourself to perform. This transition may be hard to achieve since you may be under pressure from your entourage to excel in your sport and you may also wonder what others are going to think about your decision. In short, it is important to think about yourself first and the values that drive you… and if you need to talk about it, you can contact us. Don’t hesitate, we are there to support you!
Finally, for the others who are brimming with enthusiasm and bursting at the idea of resuming your sporting activities, take advantage of it and continue to grow… while making sure to respect the various protocols issued by your respective organizations in line with public health orientations! Have a great summer ☺ ☺