All posts tagged: Danielle Gleason

Athletes Chasing The Idea Of Perfection

The pursuit to become proficient in every aspect drives athletes to eat, sleep and breath excellence. Since a young age, the idea that “practice makes perfect” is drilled into their mindset, but where does striving for perfection draw the line between healthy and unhealthy?

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.  Vince Lombardi

There is no doubt that sports carry many benefits including discipline, team work, decision making, goal setting, and dedication. Nevertheless, this competitive environment also has the ability to aid in the downfall of the individual. For the athlete that spends countless hours seeking improvement, they have become their own worst critic. Left dissatisfied when the outcome doesn’t meet their expectation, instead of recognizing their ability to progress. What athletes really mean to say is that they seek perfection, the unreachable notion of being flawless. But what is perfection? Is it the no hitter? Is it the ideal body image? Is it doing what we never thought we could?

Vince Lombardi said, “ Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”. To the athlete seeking perfection, communication and education is key. We are so fixated on the little things that we fail to see the bigger picture of having a healthy, balanced and positive lifestyle as individuals. That includes letting go of what we cannot control. Behavior such as this is more common than we realize, especially in athletics.

Sports culture is obsessed with perfection; from performance to appearance, athletes are statistically evaluated and under the constant pressure to meet expectations. The higher the level of competition, the more pressure there is, and while we understand that less than 2% is what separates the good from the great; when do we reach a point where we are satisfied with ourselves?

The combination of various factors can lead athletes to partake in unhealthy behavior that is self-destructive. High-risk drinking, drug use, and eating disorders are just some of the better-known behaviors that athletes fall vulnerable to when they internalize stress and don’t know how to properly approach these situations.

In an environment that prides itself on mental toughness, any sign of weakness that could impact performance is negatively looked upon. Athletes feel too proud, fear, or deny that they are struggling and in return it becomes internally damaging to the individual and the athlete. The inability to be perfect does not discredit them as a person, it only allows them opportunity to develop and progress.

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Let us redefine how the sports culture views perfection. Perfection is the point where a person’s satisfaction starts and ends with them. As an athlete you cannot allow others to define your success or your self worth. Sports are about your passion and ability to reach your full potential, no one else’s. So should we stop trying to achieve perfection? No, chasing perfection gives us direction and motivates us to do better. For some, that athletic identity may extend for a longer period of time than others, but at the end of the day they all eventually come to an end. When that day comes we want athletes to continue to view perfection as their distinct ability to live a positive, balanced and healthy lifestyle.

As for our imperfections, they are what make us perfectly imperfect. They make you the athlete that you are, but more importantly they make you the person you are. Vince Lombardi was right, perfection is unattainable, but teaching athletes to reach their full potential, that is its own model of excellence.

Article written by Danielle Gleason,

Founder of DNG and Personal Player Development Specialist

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Danielle Gleason, and the IPPD Specialist Certificate Experience

Danielle Gleason is a former collegiate swimmer for Colorado State University.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Health Exercise Science and a Master of Education in Higher Education.  Danielle was a graduate assistant in the Student Athlete Development office for Arizona State University, which is where she realized her true passion is working with athletes in the personal development arena.  Since then, Danielle enrolled in the Institute for Personal Player Development (IPPD) and has received her Personal Player Development (PPD) Specialist Certificate.  We wanted to get feedback on her IPPD experience.

 

Dr. Mark: Why did you enroll in the IPPD, PPD Specialist Certificate program?

Ms. Gleason: I was originally referred by Jean Boyd, Sr. Associate Athletic Director at ASU to contact Dr. Robinson and after speaking to him, I decided to enroll in the IPPD, PPD Specialist Certificate program.

I felt that the work that was being done would have of not only benefited me greatly during my time competing, but more importantly after. This program has the endless possibility to help former, present, and future athletes. By enrolling in the program, I was able to gain the proper knowledge to assist athletes live the positive, balanced and healthy lifestyle that the IPPD program so adamantly teaches.

 

Dr. Mark: What did you think about the program curriculum?

Ms. Gleason: I thought that the program was very well researched, it was relevant, and it provides a lot of value to those who are taking the course. The curriculum allowed me to learn from a number of professionals in the field and apply the concepts in multiple ways.

 

Dr. Mark: Would you recommend this program to other people who want to or are working with athletes? 

Ms. Gleason: Definitely! Regardless of the capacity that a helping professional works with athletes, it is always a great opportunity to get professionally trained to help athletes develop as an individual in a positive, balanced, and healthy way.

 

Dr. Mark: What was one of the most important things you learned through the program?

Ms. Gleason: One of the most important things I learned was that, PPD specialists help athletes realize their maximum potential as an individual, not just as an athlete. IPPD has provided the framework to assist would be helping professionals in the best possible way.

 

Dr. Mark: What are your plans moving forward within the PPD industry?

Ms. Gleason: Moving forward, I plan to start my own consulting service as a Personal Player Development Specialist. I also plan on developing workshops and presentations geared towards the female athletic identity and transitional phases.

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