Updated: Jul 22, 2020
There are lots of people out there want to knock us down and tell us that what we are doing isn't working. They want to tell us we failed and that we shouldn't even be trying. I'm not sure if any of you have ever had a boss that seemed to enjoy it when you failed, but I have. It was always so weird for two years having someone that touted this fraudulent Jon Gordon-ism positivity, but at the same time highlighting only the negative things about yourself. Some people don't like the word "failure" because it's "too negative" but why does failure have to be negative? Failure should bring to the light the things you need to do to improve, but also gives you the opportunity to highlight some of the things you did well while being honest. After losing 25-9 telling your team they "Did a great job!" is just a flat out lie and I prefer to be real and honest, sorry. After finishing 4th and 3rd (beating the 2nd place team) in conference my last two seasons he enjoyed pointing at my W-L record, which I will admit wasn't great. It's hard to come back from starting a season 0-15, but when 50% of those teams make the NCAA tournament and you finish 4th in conference, I'd say you should be able to find a lot of success there. I got asked a lot after that season what I did different and how I turned things around. I would just shrug my shoulders and say "nothing, really"; we just kept focusing on what we were doing well and tried to improve in our deficiencies. It's not really about being positive or negative, in my opinion, but it's about trying to get better, creating some grit and pulling out all of the small successes that will lead to bigger and better successes. That's what I was reminded of this week on one of my runs.
My running coach was telling me that I needed to find success in as many places as possible:
starting a run = success
hitting my pace = success
finishing my run = success
running further = success
running longer = success
...you get the idea.
But it hit my while I was listening to this that there are probably a lot of us out there that are taking this club season as a loss and maybe even a failure. Certainly from a recruiting standpoint it can be hard to see this club season as a huge success if you didn't even get to play in a qualifier. We can either leave that there and move on to high school season or we can do what we can to make the best of our situation so that we create some successes in the club season. Sure you didn't get to play in front of all the coaches you wanted to, but you can still call them, email them and text them. It might look different, be harder and take more effort but we can find success:
new school that is interested = success
making a phone call = success
getting on a Zoom = success
making a new highlight = success
sending 50 emails = success
getting a camp invite = success
being creative with workouts = success
learning to be a better teammate = success
becoming more self-motivated = success Missing the opportunities to play in front of coaches is something you can't control. Focus on some small things that you can control. Find some success in those things and keep growing from there. Win a few of the small battles and just keep pushing!
Looking back at this club season it's almost as if it didn't happen. But I know that lots of athletes out there are making it a success because they are putting in the work NOW. My hope is that you will continue to see success in what you are doing as you pursue your goal. It's not about being "positive" but it is about growing, learning and focusing on the things that you need to do to get you where you want to go.
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