Over the years I have written numerous articles on hand-eye coordination training. As mentioned earlier, this work is useful for athletes from all sports. Most recently, I also discussed how coordination training can be useful on easier days to avoid physical burnout. There is another advantage that I did not pay much attention to. Fighting your coordination with a new skill is helpful in preparing you to cope with the inevitable disappointment that accompanies the learning process.
Everyone is fighting
Whenever I demonstrate coordination exercises, I’m usually welcomed by humorous comments from viewers who are joking about what happens if they try the exercise. All you need to understand is that we all looked silly when trying to create a new skill. For example, I not only dropped a lot of balls, but juggled, but I also disappointed many F-bombs. It comes with a territory. Nobody is perfect. We are all wrong. And no one is immune from frustration.
In all my years of coaching, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an athlete who wasn’t disappointed at some point in his career. And I'm not just talking about disappointment while studying. I am talking specifically about being disappointed during high level events. Even the greats will sometimes deal with frustration (for example, when faced with an unconventional opponent).
Unfortunately, disappointment can be more devastating than even the most cunning adversary. Speaking as a boxing trainer, I saw fighters with a world-class talent who were mentally disturbed during the fight due to frustration. They simply did not know how to deal with it. Many become reckless and indignant, which usually leads to careless mistakes. The result of such an accident can be devastating.
Thus, knowing that we are all prone to frustration, it is helpful to introduce frustration into your learning. Coordination exercises are useful in this respect, as this is a controlled struggle. This lasts as long as the drill. You can stop at any time. You can also take a break and try again later.
As for the benefits, athletes who are forced to struggle with a disorder in training become better equipped to cope with the frustration of a competition. In the end, you will learn to deal with disappointment with less emotion. You begin to understand that anger does not help. This often worsens the situation. In other words, you learn to maintain control in the face of frustration.
In general, I strongly recommend learning some new skills or exercises that you will not master overnight. Find something that will be difficult for you, and then calmly cope with the inevitable disappointment that accompanies the learning curve. In doing so, you will be better prepared to cope with the disorder both in life and in sports.
This does not mean that you still do not drop the random f-bomb. I am guilty as an accused. This does not happen so often, but it takes much more. Thus, the potential of an emotional response never disappears completely, but it becomes less likely and not so extreme. And this in itself can be a game changer for many athletes.
"Disappointment, although rather painful at times, is a very positive and important part of success." – Beau Bennett