I’ve not ever felt a need to do this before, to have a year in review. It is a new experience for me. I want to look back at 2012 with clarity and be able to move forward in new ways. So taking my own advice, I am going back over the successes and of course challenges of the past year. You can cut to the chase by going to the last paragraph if you like.
Starting with the Athletes and their sports
I worked with an amazing group of athletes this year including those in the following sports: Golf, football, gymnastics, hockey, equestrians, soccer, tennis, swimming, softball, baseball, track, diving, roller derby, basketball, triathlon, cycling, fencing, water skiing, fitness, power lifting and lacrosse.
Competitor’s ages ranged from 12 to 70+. Competitive levels were club, high school, college and professional. Seven high school athletes earned scholarships or were accepted to their first choice college as an athlete (Ivy League = no athletic scholarships). One college walk-on earned her full scholarship. Most the athletes, but not all, were starters on their respective teams. In the end all were starting most of their games. I worked with a few teams as well at the club and minor league levels. All in all it was a very good year for the clients I worked with. If I were to put it in baseball terms, I would say that we batted around .900 Read the rest of the post by choosing more….
There are always of these. The athletes themselves did OK in the sense that they were no worse off than when we started. There are always a few that I fail to reach. I always take this on myself (I know I shouldn’t . Over the years the athletes I’ve worked with (in the thousands now) there are always some who do not buy into mental training or perhaps my approach or admittedly my personality. The fit has to be right. I am learning this is a two way street. It needs to be right for them and for me. Most of the athletes that fail to “get it” are the one’s whom their parental units have dragged into my office to work on an issue. Half the time it is in fact, the parents who are the issue, but that is the theme for another blog.
This is the biggest challenge in the business of mental training (that and overcoming the stigma of sport psychology is for serious mental problems instead of building mental skill competency). Understand that a psychotherapists may see clients for six months to two years; a psychiatrist may see their patients for life (old joke). In sport psychology, if I can’t start to help someone right away they may not have a sport or team to play on. I see most of my clients for 6 to 12 sessions and then we stay in contact over time. This means client turnover occurs every week. I’ve psychotherapists friends that add a new client maybe once a month. I am adding clients all the time. Don’t get me wrong. I like that I can help someone so quickly, but from a business perspective it is a challenge. This means more marketing, networking and time away from other things.
I did a good deal of speaking. I spoke to networking groups, service groups (like Rotary, Optimist and Kiwanis) and sports clubs. I did a number of talks at sports camps too. This is an area of my life that will be a priority in 2013. I want to move up to speak to more businesses and organizations as a keynote speaker. I joined the National Speakers Association and will look at Toastmasters too. I have teamed with some people from Merrill Lynch and The Hartford Group to do appreciation seminars for their clients next year (we were going to start this year but something called Sandy interfered). In February I will be Expert in Residence at The Overlake School. It is a prestigious prep school. I will also be speaking at the Elite Junior Placement Hockey Showcase in May.
I wrote a lot of blog posts this year. I did them on my blog and for some other sites, two soccer sites and a National Hockey Site. I made a little progress on revising my book, but not enough. I’ve become much more confident in this area. Now when I neglect writing during the week, I feel something is missing. It is a very strange feeling for someone who hated writing. Book sales have been OK. I released my Kindle version on Amazon. I’ve also given away a lot of books and had a very nice comment from a professional soccer player, after he read it. I need to get more reviews up on Amazon. My author friends are better at nagging people than I am, as they say that how to get it done.
The Issaquah Press did another article about me. It was a bit of a book review. I was a guest on about a dozen radio shows around the US and one even in Israel. I was asked to be on an Olympic TV broadcast which unfortunately fell through (they decided to focus on the political aspects of the competition instead of the athletes themselves). I love doing radio and miss my show. I’ve not found the right opportunity this year for a new one.
I did a few seminars for businesses this year. Not nearly enough. They went very well and perhaps that will push me to do a lot more. They were excited by the different perspective and understood sport analogies and how this would help them.
Having come from the team sport world, I am used to working in teams. I’ve worked for corporations big and small over the years. I formed a few alliances this year for business purposes. I offer an Emotional Intelligence Assessment through a performance specialist in Canada and have a new affiliation with a mental training group. I’ll talk more about that when the details are complete.
A year in review must look at the Biggest Failures
I can write this in three words. Marketing, marketing and marketing. I can promote snow as they say to Eskimos, but promoting me, asking for business is harder. It is my number one goal this year. So in that light I am asking everyone who reads this to tell three people about me, my services and my book. Now we all feel better. I will do better than that I promise.
I Have To.
Why did I write this and post it, “Because I need to take my own advice”. If we don’t review our past, how do we know what we did right or wrong? It is easy to forget our success and focus on failure. I feel really good when I think about the athlete’s and how successful they were. There are times I sometimes get down thinking about all of the things I need to do from a business prospective and that is not productive. If you have read any of my motivation posts you understand that my purpose is to help athletes. It is easy to forget that sometimes. So this was about accountability to me, my family and friends and the people I work for to help them find “The Athlete within You” with no apologies for the shameless plug. Before you set sail on 2013, do a quick review of 2012 and talk to someone about your success and failure. I guarantee is will make setting your sights on your goals for 2013 much easier. I wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.