Many of us find ourselves in slumps that we have to work to get out of. Sometimes it’s like a continuous cycle where we are motivated for a period of time, fall out and then have to build things back up again. Why do we do this? Who is it that we are battling during these slumps? Look at the person in the mirror, “That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face, I believe that’s true in competition and I believe that’s true in life.” Yep, the person you have to overcome is not the person across the court or field from you, not the other team, not the crowd in the stands, not the coaches or even your teammates, Its YOU, You are your toughest opponent, when you can get to know that person in the mirror, you will begin to overcome him/her!
What I would hope happens here, is you will gradually get to know the person in the mirror. As you do this you will get to know how great ans special you are. “Only you are gonna know if you are going to be special but you gotta work hard if you are gonna succeed.”
- Step 1: Start simple: Keep motivators around you– things that give you that initial spark to get going. Examples: Quotes, Music, Movies and most
importantly Keep good company. Make more regular encounters with positive and motivated people. This could be as simple as IM chats with peers or a quick discussion with a friend who likes sharing ideas.
- Step 2: Keep learning: Read, watch videos, watch older more skilled players play, ask questions and try to take in everything you can. The more you learn, the confidante you will be.
- Step 3: Stop thinking: Just do! Who cares if you mess up, the only way to learn is to try and correct what you messed up on. As the old saying goes, “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying anything new!”
- Step 4: Have Fun! If you can’t have fun in the sport you are in, you are probably in it for the wrong reasons.
- Step 5: DON’T DEFINE SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN TERMS OF WINNING AND LOSING: One of the main purposes of the youth sports experience is skill acquisition and mastery. If you define success and failure in terms of winning and losing, you’re playing a losing game with your yourself! The sports media in this country would like you to believe that sports and winning/losing is larger than life. The fact that it is just a game frequently gets lost in translation one of the main purposes of the youth sports experience is skill acquisition and mastery. If you define success and failure in terms of winning and losing, you’re playing a losing game with your yourself!
- Step 6: UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPETITION IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE TRAINING PARTNER YOU HAVE: When defined the right way, competition in is both good and healthy and teaches a variety of important life skills. The word “compete” comes from the Latin words “com” and “petere” which mean together and seeking respectively. The true definition of competition is a seeking together where your opponent is your partner, not the enemy! The better he/she performs, the more chance you have of having a peak performance.
- Step 7: Set Goals (short term and long Term), Track your process and as you reach your goals set more goals. Know yourself! Remember, “You are the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face.”
- Step 8: Don’t Live In The Past: Move on to the next play, the next game, the next day. Don’t continue to dwell on the negatives of the past. Learn from them and move on. You have to be sort of forgetful when you have have a bad play, game or just a bad day.
- Step 9: AVOID COMPARISONS AND RESPECT DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES Comparisons are useless, inaccurate and destructive. Each person matures differently and the process of comparison ignores significant distorting effects of developmental differences. Remember who your toughest opponent is!
- Step 10: UNDERSTAND WHO YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITION IS: Look at the person in the mirror AGAIN, “That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face.” Once you overcome yourself, you can never be defeated, you will overcome doubt, fear, defeat, failure, loneliness, anything that will try to defeat you! So start competing against yourself and you will always be improving.
Most Important Keep a positive attitude: There’s is nothing more powerful than the right attitude. You can’t choose or control your circumstance, but can choose your attitude towards your circumstances.