Anybody can feel confident and be positive when things are going great. It takes no special talent, discipline or grit to smile and feel motivated when you’re on top.
However, the mark of a true champion lies in how you handle the down times. It’s in those times when you feel discouraged, hopeless and unmotivated that the seeds of true greatness reside.
How you react to and manage your failures, disappointments, performance slumps and plateaus will ultimately determine whether you’ll be a success or a failure in anything that you attempt, on or off the playing fields.
So let’s start with some basics here:
Expect hardship, adversity and disappointment. They are an integral, NORMAL and important part of your athletic journey. No one embarks on the road from beginner to champion without encountering a ton of emotional and physical setbacks along the way. Whether it means getting cut from a squad that you desperately wanted to make, suffering a season ending injury/illness, falling into a major slump or simply being forced to ride the bench by your coach, the road to your dreams is going to be predictably bumpy. It’s your job as an athlete to embrace these bumps as a normal part of the journey and then use them as a stepping stone to push yourself further along the road.
The failures and hardships that you encounter along the way are put there to make you smarter, mentally and physically stronger and ultimately more talented. They are meant to be learning opportunities. Your disappointments hold invaluable lessons for you. It’s your job to sort through all of those very difficult emotions so that you can then find the important learnings within the setback and take advantage of them!
With the correct attitude, YOUR SETBACKS ARE MERELY TEMPORARY! Just because you failed last week, yesterday and today doesn’t mean that you will fail tomorrow. Your past failures are not a predictor of future failures or of permanence, (i.e. “this always happens to me” ), unless you adopt this as an attitude. Your disappointments, regardless of how frequent, should be viewed as simply temporary occurrences. Learn from them and leave them behind you.
Get more motivated every time you fail. Failure is simply feedback and feedback is the breakfast of champions. Each setback provides you with important lessons that will help you take your game to the next level. As a result, you want to get yourself excited with each setback because, despite the “down” emotions, this actually puts you further down the road and closer to success. Can you imagine what would happen to your game if you adopted this attitude of getting more determined and motivated after each setback? That’s right! You’d probably have to spend the rest of your life cursed by success!
Persistence and plain old-fashioned hard work will overcome almost any obstacle that life can throw in your path. Do not, under any circumstances ever stop working hard. Do not, ever quit! Sustained hard work in the face of failure, disappointment and frustration is the key to success and you want to use that key every day to unlock the doors that may be blocking your way.