Establishing Boundaries for Maverick 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 Maverick athletes.
Help Mavericks See or Understand…
Maverick athletes will often freestyle and do their own thing when the opportunity to do so presents itself.
There are times when this works fine, but more often than not, the game plan is in place for a reason.
It could be easier to reign Mavericks in if you sit them down and explain the thought process behind certain aspects of the game plan so they are more likely to see where the coaches are coming from and will be more likely to stick to the script.
Remind them of the importance of the game plan before games are played.
Prevent Mavericks from…
Mavericks, as we have already mentioned, are very prone to doing their own thing and freestyling.
This can sometimes work in their advantage since they play more naturally and react to what is happening.
However — in a team sport, there can be instances where it is vital for the Maverick to stick to the script. For moments like this, it is beneficial if a coach has conversations with the Maverick to let them know when and where it is okay to freestyle and do their own thing.
As a coach, it’s key to remember that it’s important to let a Maverick be who they are. Don’t try to get rid of their freestyling tendency, just try to reign them in.
Mavericks are Bothered by…
One thing almost every Maverick will tell you is that they hate having someone “standing over their shoulder” — they don’t like to be micro-managed.
This can be frustrating for a coach, especially considering how Mavericks will do things in their own way.
It’s hard to not want to intervene and have them do things the way it is normally done, but by approaching practice and other experiences their own way, Mavericks are more likely to learn and enjoy the activity.
A very high-profile example of over-coaching and waiting over a player’s shoulder revolves around one of the most impressive stories of improvement in modern baseball.
Jake Arietta, formerly of the Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. When he was with the Orioles, Arietta was bothered by the micro-management he faced from the coaching staff, and never found his footing, often fluctuating between the major and minor leagues.
After being moved to the Cubs, Arietta was allowed by the coaches to go back to his old pitching routine and motion, and the rest is history. For more about Jake Arietta and this evolution and revival of his career, you can check out our story about him.