Poise for Athletes

By Deron Sorrell

Poise is an emotional peace which is seemingly inconsistent with the challenge at hand. Poise is developed rather than learned. Poise permits practice to render expected results.  Poise is nearly invisible at its strongest, but obvious to all when absent.

Poise does not improve our physical skill, but rather is the state of mind with which a performance is offered. Poise is understood by few. Poise is leased by many but owned by none. Poise is relative. Everybody has a little, but few have enough. Poise is not always passive. Poise is ready to fight, but always within the rules. Poise provides us with the ability to remain focused on our objective rather than aimlessly gazing at distractions. As our temptation to become distracted intensifies, our needed amount of poise increases. It is impossible to have too much poise.

Poise is readiness. Poise is not a fancy word for composure. Poise may choose to avoid conflict, but does not equate with passive play. Poise is more concerned with winning a game than with merely avoiding a fight. Poise is capable of an aggressive play. Poise does not conflict with intense play. Poise is capable of being physical. Poise does not preclude giving your all. Poise allows us to execute the demands of the game while maintaining an awareness of the rules and a genuine respect for the competition.

Poise lessens the impact of pressure. Poise is the buffer which prevents pressure from damaging our performance.  Poise removes all competition except the other team. Our preparation and strategy will prepare us for a particular opponent. Poise can either be a key component to winning or a major cause of defeat.

Poise is always needed. There is not a good time to be without poise. Everybody is aware that poise is needed on occasion, but few realize that it is called upon constantly.  Poise must be a great strength in order for teams to achieve greatness.

There is little, if any, correlation between talent and poise. We all can develop poise if it is perceived as important and worthwhile to do so.

Poise provides us with the opportunity to do our best.  Without poise, distractions will serve to detract from our performance. You and your teammates must develop poise in order to make any sincere effort toward achieving meaningful objectives. Anything other than our best is not acceptable. Poise is a necessary component to any pursuit within a competitive environment.


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