Establishing Boundaries for Ice Athletes
Every athlete has different aspects of their mental game they need to work on in order to improve and build them into more complete players and people.
For each Athlete Type, there are certain tendencies that the majority of athletes who have that type can work on to better themselves.
Coaches, parents, teachers, and mentors can all help make a difference in young athletes’ lives by setting different boundaries and helping them understand some of their weaknesses and how to smooth those weaknesses out and become a more well-rounded athlete.
In this article, we will look at certain boundaries and techniques that could help if put in place for Ice athletes.
Help Ice See or Understand…
The most important thing for a mentor to help an Ice athlete realize is that making a mistake is okay.
Ice are very competitive and self-critical people and when they make mistakes they will sometimes take it harder than they should. That is why it is imperative to help Ice understand that it’s okay to make mistakes.
In fact, if you help an Ice realize that mistakes are just learning opportunities for them to improve — they could become a much more effective athlete and person.
Help an Ice understand that a mistake isn’t the end of the world or a sign that they are bad at what they do, but instead is a way to realize what they need to work on as a means of taking their game to the next level.
Prevent Ice from…
As described in the AthleteTypes Burnout Series, one of the biggest problems for Ice athletes is pushing themselves too hard. If you have a young Ice in your life, it is critical to ensure they don’t burn themselves out by how hard they will internally push themselves.
Remind them that some improvements take time, and no amount of pushing will make it go any faster.
Putting these sort of things in perspective for them will help them recognize that sometimes pushing too hard can be a negative thing if they stretch themselves too far physically, emotionally, or mentally.
If you have an Ice who insists on practicing every day or working on specific tasks and/or goals regularly, try to set limits on how long they can do these things, or monitor them to make sure this constant push isn’t having negative effects on their overall health and well-being.
Ice are Bothered by…
The thing that drives Ice more than anything is trying to overcome what they see as their own personal shortcomings.
Ice will be highly aware of their personal shortcomings, and in most cases, will let it really bother them. This is why a lot of Ice athletes push themselves so hard, they are trying to develop past their weaknesses and become better students, athletes, or people.
Baker Mayfield, the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns has done a great job as an Ice athlete — taking the strong feelings he has about his own shortcomings and using it as fuel to help motivate him to improve and push towards success.
Coming out of high school, Mayfield was a 3-star prospect with no offers from Power 5 programs. Mayfield, instead of taking a scholarship at a smaller school, decided to bet on himself.
As opposed to letting the weaknesses in his game determine where he would play, he decided he would choose his college himself and work on the weakness so they would no longer hold him back.
Mayfield ended up picking Texas Tech, where he pushed himself and worked hard enough to earn the starting job as a true freshman walk-on.
After getting injured, Mayfield found himself out of a job due to his backup performing well while he rehabbed from injury.
This led to another fork in the road moment for Mayfield — should he stay at Tech and continue to try and push for his job back? Or, should he transfer, continuing to improve on his shortcomings and take over a starting job at another school?
Mayfield ended up at Oklahoma, once again walking-on without the promise of a scholarship, let alone any playing time.
The rest, as they say, is history. Mayfield went on to have one of the most successful collegiate careers of all time, picking up a Heisman trophy and getting drafted first overall in the 2018 NFL draft along the way.
The key here for parents and coaches is to use Mayfield as a teaching tool or an example. Teach your Ice athlete that instead of getting upset with the weaknesses in their game, they can use their dissatisfaction in themselves as a means to push themselves harder to improve.
It can be very helpful if you are aware of this tendency for Ice, because you can talk to them about their shortcomings and remind them that no one is perfect and that everybody has their own faults.
Be sure to drive home the point that we all have skills and things about ourselves we can improve upon, so having shortcomings is just a part of life.
Everyone can improve upon themselves, but remember not to let an Ice push themselves too hard.