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  • Mental Fitness Friday: Never Stop Learning

    When I renew my license to practice, I report 40 hours of continuing education. Though that’s the law, I truly enjoy the time I spend learning. I’m committed to finding ways I can be better at what I do.  

    Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

    This week, I heard a coach say they’re done learning and changing. I’ll often hear this from both athletes and coaches, and it puzzles me. They may think they have it all figured out and don’t need help or feedback, but they don’t realize how important it is to continue learning. The athletes who use our coaching are open to learning.

    I’ve had the chance to read hundreds of books on human development, sports psychology and mindfulness. My job is to share that knowledge.

    What I’ve read in many of those books is similar, but I never stop reading. Each has its own way of looking at things, which opens so many possibilities to change.

    Mentally fit athletes love to learn because it’s how they improve. If you feel threatened by not knowing something, find a way to change your mindset.

    I’ve heard people say: “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

    I don’t know that I agree with that statement, but I do know that if you ain’t learning, you ain’t trying.

    Isn’t that why we push ourselves to participate in sports — to learn about ourselves, the world and our place in the world? I realize it’s risky to learn. You can gain new insights, which may force you to change your views or your performance.

    At the end of the day, I urge all of you to write down the most important thing that you learned that day. If you can, start a running list in a notebook. Some days may require more thought that others, but that’s a good thing. You’ll build that habit, and you’ll realize that you do, in fact, learn every day. The things you learn don’t have to be big things. Sometimes it’s the small things that can change your direction or lead you to better results.

    If you want to take this even further, make a list of topics you would like to learn more about. Those topics could relate to work, hobbies, self-development or even your kids’ sports. Spend time reading, watching videos or taking a class.

    Once you’ve learned a thing or two, maybe teach a class of your own. Teaching really is the best way to learn.