Establishing Boundaries for Knight 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 Knight athletes.
Help Knights See or Understand…
A lot of people, not just Knights, find it difficult to talk about things that may be bothering them, even when asked for input.
For Knights in particular though, this can be even more difficult, as they will clam up when they become upset and tend to prefer to internally process their thoughts.
However, we all know that there are times where communicating issues and what is bothering you is important if you want to ensure changes are made.
Let a Knight know that there will be times where they have to speak their mind about things that are bothering them if they expect others to make changes to ease that stress.
Prevent Knights From…
Knights will often take criticism, especially from mentors, coaches, parents, and other people they respect very personally.
When it comes time to give a Knight feedback, especially any negative feedback, make sure you stress to them that what you are about to say isn’t personal.
Explain to the Knight that what you are telling them isn’t meant to hurt their feelings or for them to take personally, but instead, the feedback you’re giving them is well-intentioned in hopes of them taking it and using it to improve.
Knights are Bothered by…
Knights will often get flustered and not know how to react when someone compromises one of their values.
Obviously, this set of values varies for every Knight, so as a coach, it is key to learn what makes the Knights on your team tick.
Jamal Adams is one of the best young safeties in the NFL. He was the 6th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. During his career at LSU, Adams lost a total of 13 games over 3 seasons. In his rookie season with the New York Jets, they lost 11 games alone.
2018 didn’t go as well as Adams would have hoped either. Despite earning his first ever Pro Bowl appearance, Adams’ Jets finished with a 4-12 record and were one of the worst teams in the NFL.
The losing finally got to Adams, and he reacted after a Week 9 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
“It’s the same, same, same stuff,” Adams told ESPN. “It’s frustrating. I’m not going to hold my tongue for anything anymore. I’m not a loser. I don’t do this for fantasy points. I do this for the love of the game. I’m passionate about this team and I believe in this team.”
Winning and playing hard are obviously two values that Adams holds very deeply. You can almost feel the sense of disappointment and frustration when reading these quotes. That is to be expected with a Knight.
“I’m sick of losing,” Adams added. “Honestly, I’m sick of losing. I’m fed up with losing. … It pisses me off every time. I’m not a loser. I want to get back on the winning track. We’ve lost three straight? Come on, man.”
A lot of NFL players likely get very frustrated with losing, it takes that sort of competitive edge to make it to the game’s highest level. However, Adams being a Knight, he wears his emotions on his sleeve when it comes to his values being compromised.
That is something to remember when dealing with a Knight — they are typically very reserved, but when values they hold closely become violated, they will become emotional. Let the Knight athlete(s) on your team know that they can always come talk to you and vent their frustrations.
With this information, you can attempt to build a team culture that is welcoming to everybody while also making sure there aren’t any issues between the players on the team.