How Emotions Can Stop Achievement

One of the things I see as a coach is the emotion we carry on the faces of each paddler. Whether you give constructive feedback, introduce a tough piece or express the results of a piece you can see the thoughts and beliefs of your paddlers written on their faces. Here’s a view from the coach perch:

Insecure- I will never be good enough

Fear – I can’t to this

Frustration – I’ll never get this right

Denial – Coach doesn’t know what she’s talking about

Disbelief – I know I was doing that, she just can’t tell

Anger – This is bullshit, I don’t need this crap

Victim – I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong


Our beliefs about ourselves can be the restrictions we have in our movement and the limitations we put on ourselves that halt technical improvement. Although beliefs may feel real it is up to us as athletes to bring a heathy dose of discernment to remove restrictions so we can excel in our sport.

These thoughts and feelings are normal but unless interrupted, questioned and evaluated they can create a belief of ourselves and a pre determined state of being that guides our responses to constructive feedback

The value of these indicators is for us to see where we can hold ourselves back from improvement. Not to say that all feedback is accurate but that does not take away from the fact-finding mission athletes need to embark on if they want to improve.


Discernment of the facts is where we can exercise our power, take control of our skill development and set ourselves up to achieve our goals. Here are a few tips to help you eliminate restriction and discern coaching feedback:

  1. Get video review of yourself in the boat. This will help discern if the feedback you are receiving is based in fact.
  2. If you do not see what is being given as feedback, get another opinion from a mentor or coach.
  3. Create a new belief by making a plan that executes your desire to succeed.
  4. Implement goals and measure your progress to keep a healthy analysis of your progress.


Getting constructive and valid feedback strengthens our inner resolve and moves towards our goals without restriction. It is our job to implement beliefs about ourselves that are factual, realistic and accurate.





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