“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” – Vince Lombardi
It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed these days with technology all over the place. Even technology is being used in sports to help athletes run that extra mile or analyse their mistakes in games.
With that, all the more you need to get back down to recognising the benefits you can gain from mastering the mental skills basics. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s no such thing as learning one time and leave it forever. Going back to it again and again consistently helps to refresh your mind so that you will use them naturally as and when you need them.
Just like you, together with my teammates back in 2005, we had to figure the works of mental training all by ourselves. Hiring a sports psychologist was expensive for us. It cost about $100 per person per hour, that’s a hefty sum especially for students.
There wasn’t any concise platform or extensive research that gave us a much needed step-by-step guide to help us. There were pieces of information on the internet and good books too, so the best we could do was to get all of those materials we’ve found, magazines, books, cd-roms, videos, movies and scour through them one by one and apply all that we’ve learned almost every week.
Just like you, we were unhappy with our performance, we started off with no direction, we always felt demoralised after being thrashed badly by another team. We got that very often, and we didn’t seem to be going anywhere.
You may be going through similar situation as well, so what’s important for you right now is that you and me, we can work together to make a change, to improve our sports performance and our lives with more mindfulness and mental wellness because there is so much we can do physically.
I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of other athletes out there who talk a lot about their big dreams and plans, wanting to make improvements, make an impact or win all those games. They all talk about wanting to make a difference, but all they ever do is what? Talk!
But you see, you and I, are different.
Because, we are here today, taking time out of our lives to be here for this lesson, to be better at a skill set, to be better than we were yesterday.
You and I are so similar because we make similar decisions of learning mindful strategies, putting in the hard work, patiently making seemingly short term sacrifices for long term gains.
Many athletes only want the instant gratification of just getting selected into a team and then slack themselves away.
You know what?
These athletes could even be someone related to you, they could be your teammates or even a friend.
How many of you in your mind right now can think about that person? And I really want you guys to do this.
How many of you right now can think about that athlete who is always talking but never gets around to doing?
You and I can see how we are not like them. We are in a different group.
They are the ones who are not compassionate, they are the procrastinators, self-centred individuals, they are not committed and the ones that are so proud of their talents yet never got around to nurture them and contribute positively to the team. They are the ones who only dream to speak of their dreams but you never got to see them at practice early enough or even on time to get started.
According to John Wooden, “successful athletes are those who get a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable of.”
So YOU, you, the Star Player whether you are in a team sport, or in individual events like running or swimming, you are the Star athlete that you want to be, you and me together are going to work towards our goals. We want to be just like those successful athletes as John Wooden defined them to be.
Think about who do you want to be and what you want to be like.
We will make that happen together.
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