The Cave You Fear To Enter Holds The Treasure You Seek

That quote, "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek", is often attributed to 20th century author Joseph Campbell.
Campbell was not renowned for his interest in sports performance training, at least to my knowledge, but his famous quote couldn't fit the description of what we do any better.
In fact, it perfectly describes it at two key points on an athlete's journey.
After having had the chance to speak to dozens of parents and their kids at an event this past weekend, the overwhelming trend was that parents perked up when they heard there was a program that could help their kid play better and lower their injury risk.
Almost every kid, upon hearing this, had a look of fear and disinterest on their faces.
To those who have never really experienced it, training programs may seem to be this incredibly negative atmosphere where people scream at you while you are constantly in pain.
If this is how you see a development program, of course you won't want any part of it!
Yet that fear prevents so many young athletes from simply walking through the door, from entering that cave, and taking a look inside.
Those that are brave enough to do so, provided they stick around, usually find their 'treasure' in the form of higher performance, less pain or injury, and greater self-confidence.
The second point where this statement fits involves kids who do train for performance, either in a formal program or on their own, but only stick to the things they are good at.
Kids who like strength training lift all the time.
Those who are quite fit constantly do conditioning.
This, unfortunately, limits the success of far too many of our local high school athletes these days..
We all have a fear of failure, of looking bad in front of others, and will go to great lengths to only show our best side to everyone.
Yet once again, only by boldly traveling into the unknown and working on their weaknesses do young athletes see real, dramatic progress.
It's that paralyzing fear that keeps so many from taking the steps into the unknown, where their true potential lies.
There is actually some debate whether that exact quote can be attributed to Campbell.
However, his actual quote may be even more relevant to kids who are afraid to start a workout program, or to train their weaker points:
'It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.
The very cave you are afraid to enter often turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.'
Kids need to only walk through that door to realize their fears are mostly unfounded.
Or that by tackling the skills that are hardest for you, the long-term benefits to your athletic career will be exponentially greater than if you had stayed only with what you enjoy.

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