How can Gratitude Improve Performance?
Gratitude is a skill that is a growing practice in sport. Many think of gratitude as simply passing on our thanks to people, but in sports and performance, there is a lot more to it than that!
Positive psychology is a theory which suggests positivity can actually increase brain functioning. A positive attitude broadens ideas and builds resources by developing new skills and relationships. Specifically in sports and performance, this social behavior is related to improved team cohesion and life satisfaction even in elite athletes.
When athletes regularly take time to appreciate their teammates and the support of their coaches, they strengthen the bond of the team. When the support of a coach is paired with individual gratitude, it imparts a resiliency to athletes.
Gratitude can reduce athletes' tendency to want to avoid uncomfortable situations during higher levels of competition. These uncomfortable situations could include negative thoughts like "I'm not good enough". Gratitude combined with coaching support can help athletes see adverse experiences in a positive way, rather than avoiding them.
If coaches can find more ways to help develop gratitude beginning in youth sports, athletes may be able to overcome injury, defeat, burnout, and other challenges. The more we are able to find the positive in difficult situations, the more we will be able to rise above adversity.
Gratitude Unites Us & Gratitude Matters
At Soccer Parenting, Gratitude is the foundation of our essential work to establish trust, focus on wellbeing, and foster strong community.
Join us for our 4th Annual Gratitude Week, celebrating all that we are grateful for in the youth game! Head to the Gratitude HUB to find out how you can get involved.
Chen, L. H., & Wu, C. (2016, 03). When Does Dispositional Gratitude Help Athletes Move Away From Experiential Avoidance? The Moderating Role of Perceived Autonomy Support From Coaches. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology + Gabana, N. T., Steinfeldt, J
Wong, Y. J., Chung, Y. B., & Svetina, D. (2018, 09). Attitude of Gratitude: Exploring the Implementation of a Gratitude Intervention with College Athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology