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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Disease of Failure- Ergophobia & Enissophobia

Many things can prevent athletes from reaching their goals. But often players may not know what is wrong. Some players may not realize it, but they may be victims of ergophobia and/or enissophobia.

Ergophobia is the fear of work. Their are athletes who can find 1001 excuses to miss workouts or practices. And in some cases their individual excuses may be legitimate but when you add it all up, they are not investing the time and effort needed to successful. And other athletes may go to workouts or practices regularly- they may never miss a day, but they are just putting in their time. Instead of lifting 150lbs, they settle for lifting 100lbs. 150lb's would be work. Instead of taking shots at game pace, they go 3/4 speed because it is more comfortable. This athlete is horribly disappointed and frustrated when their season starts. They are the kid who doesn't make the team or the kid who does not play as much as they would like. And they are frustrated with their situation because they just can't understand,"I went all the time, why aren't I playing."

Enissophobia is the fear of criticism. Some athletes always misinterpret criticism from their coach. They don't hear the coach explaining what skill needs to change, what they hear is that "the coach doesn't like me."

No one has heard more negatives or criticisms from me than my son. No one gave me more criticism than my older brother and my parents. Sometimes as children we don't like to hear it when our parents give us "corrections." But deep down we know our parents only want us to turn out the best we can. Ultimately most of us trust our family and learn the criticism is really just part of their love for us.

Sadly some players are never able to work thru and handle the "corrections." Deep down they just can not find the ability to trust their coaches. And ultimately this prevents the player from becoming coachable. When a coach criticizes a player, the coach does not hate the player.

The best way for a player to overcome ergophobia and enissophobia is through humility. A player needs the humility to realize they are not perfect and need criticism to grow. And a player needs humility to recognize they need to "remake themselves." Humility allows an athlete to have a better perspective of where they are today and what needs to happen to get to where they want to be tomorrow.

Coaches and athletes like to refer to their team as a "family." A big part of a family is trust. And a big part of successful teams is trust.

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