With a new season starting up this fall it’s a great time to think fresh and move forward with clarity, focus, and commitment to making this your best season EVER!
If recent experiences have left you disappointed, lacking in self-confidence, or questioning whether you’re really cut out for this sport then I’ve got news for you: if you still love the game then THIS MOMENT IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to bounce back and prove to yourself that you’ve got what it takes!
Let me ask you something, did you learn anything through those disappointments? Maybe it’s that you need to work more on your passing, landings, speed time, upper body strength, or something else? Maybe it’s that you need to address your pre-game nervousness, or that you need to develop a deeper understanding of the strategic elements of your sport. Take a moment to really reflect on what happened and FIND A TAKEAWAY. If there is at least ONE THING you’ve learned, then you’ve got yourself a GOAL, and goals are the essential stepping stones to making your dreams a reality. Today is a new day, and anything is possible!
Now let’s say you’re coming off a really successful run. You had a great season with significant victories, positive feedback from your coach, and are on track to be a team starter this season. Great! But does that mean you can coast on all those past wins? No way! Now it’s time to take it to the next level! CHALLENGE yourself to do better, beat your own time, advance in certain skills, and compete in a bigger way. Maybe you need to find a more advanced league, a more experienced coach, a new way to train. EGO CAN BE THE GREATEST DOWNFALL OF SUCCESSFUL ATHLETES, so don’t let yours take over just because you’ve done well so far!
So how can you look forward instead of back this season?
- Leave the past in the past.
Take what is helpful, and let go of what isn’t. There’s nothing more distracting to your present concentration than to dwell on what’s already happened.
- Make a plan.
What’s your intention or goal now as you take the next step? What do you really want to work on? What is something challenging yet possible to accomplish with hard work and dedication this season? Where/how do you want to see yourself progressing in your sport within the next 3 months? And most importantly, HOW are you going to do that? List concrete ways you’re going to dedicate yourself to getting there, including who’s going to help you.
- Create opportunities.
If you really want to reach new heights then it’s going to take more than just hard work in practice and games, you’ll need to expand your potential and create opportunities for learning, for connection with the right resources or people, and for experiences that will help you excel. Maybe it’s going to more games as a fan so you can observe those who are above your level of experience, and maybe that means finding a way to meet with those players or their coaches to ask them questions and introduce yourself as aspiring to someday be where they are now. Maybe it’s competing outside your usual circuit, or entering some contest where the prize is VIP access at a big match. Whatever this means for you, become an OPPORTUNITY DETECTIVE to find and take those opportunities when they come along!
Don’t ever let the past hold you back from what is possible TODAY and TOMORROW. It’s a new season, and a new chance to SHOW ‘EM WHAT YOU’VE GOT!