As a coach, one of the most frustrating occurrences to witness among athletes is an athlete who works extremely hard all week and then allows something to get into the way of executing in competition. I can't imagine that anyone would go to work for an entire week and put in a solid eight hours a day and then when pay day rolls around at the end of the week, they refuse to pick up their paycheck. What a waste. That is what it feels like when watching an athlete work hard and do the right things on Monday through Friday and then they allow the opportunity to compete pass them by on Saturday. We must first EARN the paycheck during the week (this is essential) and then PICK UP THE PAYCHECK on competition day.
Be Intentional. Don’t wait for good things to happen tomorrow. Make good things happen TODAY.
"Contentment" and "Satisfaction" are often used interchangeably but they are not the same thing. Satisfied refers to being "pleased or full". When we are satisfied, we no longer want or feel the need for more. As an athlete (and as a human who desires to reach their full potential), satisfaction prevents us from pushing forward. When we determine something as full, there is no need to do more. More causes overflow which becomes a waste. If we are satisfied, we lack motivation to get better. On the other hand, contentment refers to peace in our current situation. Peace allows us to see the good in what we have accomplished but doesn't limit our desire to achieve more. We should be content (have peace) but we should never be satisfied unless we are finished with the process of getting better. Whether we win or lose, post a personal best or perform poorly, we must praise God for where we are and what we have been able to accomplish (contentment) but allow the win or loss, success or failure to fuel us to become even better and to not settle (satisfied) for where we are.
The "Flight or Fight" response is a physiological reaction to a perceived harmful event. In other words, our BODY gets full of adrenaline so it can either run away from the charging saber-tooth tiger or stand and fight it. Our body has been conditioned to react to fear. Fear, however, is an emotional response to a perceived danger or harm. That emotional response exists because of the lack of trust. When we trust ourselves or others, we don't perceive events as being harmful to us. Few people have fear about sitting in a chair as they trust the chair will hold them. Many people fear public speaking because they don't trust how the audience will respond to what they say and/or they don't trust their own ability to deliver a coherent message. We need to identify our fear and learn to control them by understanding what it is that we don't trust in the situation. When we can understand the psychological response to fear and control it, we can then allow the physiological response to help us to FIGHT and not FLIGHT. Allow fears be a fire that fuels you and propels you forward and upward, but don't allow fear to be a fuel that burns you up.
There is a solution to every problem - The biggest problem is that you may not like the solution.
Last year, everyone's bracket was busted on the first day. How does a #16 seed beat a #1 overall seed? Sports Happens. How do 15 lower ranked teams beat higher ranked teams out of 48 total games (nearly 1/3)? Sports Happens. How does a US curling team or a US Hockey team win the Gold medal when it was said it would be a "Miracle"? How does a team down 25 points come back in the second half to win a Super Bowl? How does someone drain a putt from 100 feet and in the next hole miss a 4 foot gimme? Sports Happen. Sports are a part of life and in life, nothing is guaranteed. Life is full of countless variables and many of them we are not in the position to control. However, we do have control of our attitude. We have the choice to control our attitude DURING a practice or competition and we have the ability to respond with the proper attitude AFTER a practice or competition. When we enter into any situation, we need to control those things that we can control and then pray about the rest.
Success! Victory! Achievement! Winning! Peak Performance! Reaching your Full Potential! All of these goals are worth pursuing. Four words that are often cited as being essential to the accomplishment of these goals: Composure. Concentration. Confidence. Commitment. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself on these four important skills? Composure: How much self control do you have during practice and competition? Concentration: How well are you able to focus on the task at hand during practice and competition? Confidence: How much do you trust/believe in your ability to perform a given task in practice or competition? Commitment: How willing and able are you to press through adversity and "stick with it" during a practice and competition? All four of these skills will help us to be Competitive. Competitive people enter competition with the attitude to win. Competitive people do not enter into a competition with the attitude that they hope that they don't lose. There is a huge difference between playing to win compared to playing not to lose. How can you improve on each of these four skills (composure, concentration, confidence, commitment) today so you can be more competitive tomorrow?
Goals are meant to give you direction and to motivate you to work toward achieving the goal. Goals give us reminders of what is important to us and help us to stay on track. Achievement of the goals themselves are not meant to be the purpose of life. The journey is much more important than the destination. The up and downs of the roller coaster ride are what make us scream and get a huge adrenaline rush. When the roller coaster stops, we are rushed toward the exit. The ride is over. Most of the time, we want to run back to the line to go again. Set goals. Work toward those goals. Put your hands up in the air and scream your head off as you enjoy the ride! However, if all you want to do is to achieve goals so you can check boxes off on your list, then skip the ride and walk over directly to stand at the exit.
One of the challenges of being young is the inability to completely appreciate the concept of time. For those who are much older and who have lived life, there are two profound realizations of time:
Realization #1 - When we are young, we feel there is an infinite amount of time. We have our whole life ahead of us. There are many more days to come than the amount of days we have already lived. We feel that we will always have the time to do certain things, to accomplish goals and dreams and to even say the things we want to say to the people that we want to say them to. This is why procrastination is more often found in young people than in the older folks. Those who have lived life have realized that time tends to pass us by much more quickly than we anticipate and they see the time they have wasted. They realize that seasons are only 3 months long and it takes a another nine for that season to return.
Realization #2 - When we are young, we feel that every single second matters and if we waste one moment, we will never get it back and we will never make it up. If I get sick and miss a day of practice, I will never get that day back and I will never reach my goals. If I miss out on this one experience with friends, it will never be made available again (FOMO). This is why we see younger people rushing around much more than older folks. We think this is the case because older people are slow and frail. This may be partially true but what is more true is that those with experience have rushed around themselves and have finally realized that it is a waste of energy. We realize that seasons come and seasons go but they eventually come back around again and sometimes the season is better than the previous year.
The Point - As we get older, we realize that both of our youthful assumptions about time have some element of truth but there needs to be a balance. Time is infinite, so we need to make a conscious effort to take advantage of the opportunities that we have and although making the most of time matters, it doesn't matter as much as we think, so if we miss something, we must be content and know that every moment isn't a "make or break" moment in time.