Gold medals are awarded to the athlete, only. In fact, all three of the medals (gold, silver and bronze) are only awarded to the athletes. Coaches do not receive medals at the Olympics. Neither do trainers, or doctors or parents or training partners. The reason is that the athlete is the one who earns the medal. The athlete is the one who trains all of those hours and pushes themselves beyond limits to execute their plan. Coaches are crucial in the success of an athlete. Most athletes would not reach their potential without a coach. However, the coach is an aid or assistance to the athlete. It is the athlete who is responsible for executing the plan. Often times, athletes expect the coach to "make them into" an athlete. The athlete must realize that they are the ones who are responsible for their ultimate success and they are responsible to utilize their resources, but not rely on those resources to reach their potential.
A leader guides others toward a common goal. A follower goes along with the leader toward that goal. Leaders need followers. Followers need a leader. Both benefit from each other and the group. Neither is more important in regards to the pursuit of the goal. A leader without any followers is a person standing alone. A follower without a leader is less likely to reach their goals. There are times we need to lead and there are times we need to follow. Being only a leader or only a follower fails to utilize our full range of gifts and talents. In the various aspects or roles that we have in our lives, we need to determine when it is best for us to lead others toward a goal and when it is appropriate to be the best follower we can be in order to help move the group toward our shared goal.
Self-Worth is different than Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem. They are connected but not synonymous. Self-Worth refers to "ones sense or opinion of their value or worth". Those with high self-worth feel that they have value and worth to the world. Those with low self-worth do not feel that they have much value or worth. Unfortunately, low self-worth impacts our self-esteem and self-confidence, which can then impact our daily lives. Therefore, self-worth is important. Furthermore, unfortunately, many people rely on others to determine their self-worth. Too many people are waiting for someone to validate them and determine their worth. My suggestion is to go earn your worth. Do something for someone else. Make your life about others and you will soon find that you are invaluable because others are counting on you. When we wait around for others to "like" us, in order to build our value, we may be waiting for a long time. Make someone smile, encourage them, help them with something small, or even take a burden from them and you will be making yourself worth something to others.
Being a "passivist" may be fine in certain aspects of life but not in athletics. I have never found myself or another coach instruct an athlete to "be more passive". In fact, the opposite is the case. Cheerleaders even have cheers which encourage athletes to "B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E". However, aggression isn't the answer either (as aggression involves the intent to harm someone). And that is why most athletes struggle with giving the correct amount of intensity in their sport and erring on being too passive. The athlete doesn't know what is being asked of them, nor do they know what to do to remedy the problem. We don't need to be angry/mad/upset or "fired up" to be intense. We merely need to understand that passivity doesn't have a place in most sports. Calm does but not passivity. Being "assertive" is what we must do. Being assertive refers to being intentional and intense at the right moments.
Temptation is not a sin. Temptation is a normal human desire. Acting on that temptation becomes the sin. Jesus was tempted. The key is that Jesus chose temptation as an opportunity to do what is right. We must not see temptation as already doing something wrong or that will only lead to further wrong actions. We must see temptation as a yellow light while driving. We can either interpret the yellow as a shade of green and speed up and run the inevitable red light. Or we can see the yellow light as its intended warning and STOP. The more often we choose to do what is right when faced with wrong choices, the easier it becomes to do what is right and less guilt we have and less time spent trying to bring our self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth back from negativity.
Two beneficial tools to have in your toolbox - being intentional and being proactive. Waiting around for success to happen will only result in a lot of waiting. Furthermore, only reacting to life as it happens will either keep you treading water or cause you to sink. If you want to move forward in life, be intentional and be proactive. Do something. Anything. Even if you fail at it. At least you are trying and you are learning something and eliminating bad options. And if you can't move forward right now in a certain area, then instead of trying harder, try different. Like the paralytic at the well (John 5:1-15), don't expect someone to throw you into the water ... if you want to be healed, pick up your mat and walk.
We are emotional beings. Emotions are a huge part of athletic participation. We are not able to compete at any level without the existence of emotions. Two primary emotions can either impede or contribute to our athletic success. Anxiety and Arousal. Anxiety is an emotion that exists when we perceive a threat. We are anxious when we feel that we will come to harm from failing, not reaching our expectations or some other threat to our comfort. Understanding that anxiety is both perceived and involves some sort of threat will help us to control and manage our emotions. Arousal pertains to the intensity we have when engaging in certain behaviors. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being very intense, we must determine the correct amount of arousal for each activity so we don't become "too hyped" or simply apathetic. Being overanxious and either over or under aroused will impede our performance. The objective of every athlete is to learn that these two emotions exist, then learn how these two emotions impact our personal performance and then to learn how to manage/regulate those emotions.
If someone comes to you and says "I am stressing out about ...", you wouldn't respond by saying "Congratulations. That's great news. I am so happy for you". Our society views "stress" as a negative and something to be avoided. Stress is defined as "a demand placed on something". Stress is a neutral term and is often positive. In order to get stronger, we stress our muscles in the weight room. In order to gain endurance, we stress our cardiovascular system. In order to gain knowledge, we read and listen to lectures and take notes to stress our minds. Stress, in the proper amounts is what helps us to grow. Stress only becomes distress (defined as "a demand that causes harm") when we don't respond properly to the stress and allow it to be "too much". Too much exercise with not enough rest can cause harm (even as "stress fracture"). Too much demand on our mind or emotions, without copying with those "stressors", can cause harm. Instead of getting "stressed out", we need to "get the stress out" by addressing the demands that life places on us by coping with the demands and not ignoring them.
I used to think that we were created as rational beings that occasionally experienced emotions and those emotions distracted us from reaching our full potential. I have now come to the realization that we are completely emotional beings, that occasionally think rationally. Emotions are not all bad. However, emotions can get in the way and cloud our judgement. Having control over our emotions and not merely allowing our emotions to control us will allows us to make more thoughtful decisions. Controlling emotions takes patience (trust), self-observation and awareness, intentional actions and effort.
A natural question to ask before undertaking a task would be "How much time will this take?". For those who manage their time and value their time, this type of information is helpful. Unfortunately, that question tends to leak into many aspects of our life, in many forms. "How long will this last?". "How much should I give?". "How much effort should I expend?". If our goal is to reach our full potential, the answer to this question (and even asking it) becomes a limiting factor or a demotivating factor. What happens when we reach the deadline and we aren't "there yet"? What happens if the effort required is less than we can give and it underestimates our ability? What happens when we are able to give more? So what is the right answer to the "How much" question? If the goal is to reach our full potential, then the answer is ... "until it is completed".