You just don’t have what it takes. You are too thin, you are too fat. There are a hundred people that I can think of that will put you in the dust on command. You are too short and just too slow. I have seen snails run faster than you. Oh, and while we are on the top of not good enough, you won’t even make it as my reserve water boy.
How are you feeling round about now? These messages have hit home far too often from coaches, supporters, friends and even family. There is more negative feedback flying your way that sometimes, if not most days, you feel like a punching bag for the world. Taking blow by blow, chipping away at your morale and more importantly at your love and passion for your sport.
Your coach means well most of the time, so you let it slide and work harder but constantly look for positive feedback from your coach, like an abused dog running back to his owner, all happy and panting for a pat, only to be met with more kicks to the ground. What do you do to prove your audience wrong, you know deep down there is potential for greatness? What do you need to do in order to get the love and respect you deserve? What does one have to do in order to get signed for a team?
You will not find that answer from anyone else but yourself. You are the only person that can answer that question. Have you spent hours perfecting your craft while others are out partying? Have you researched what makes a great player and what the international standards for success are? Are you following a champion’s diet and training program? Are you taking your weaknesses that everyone is throwing in your face on a daily basis and finding creative ways to turn it into a strength? Are you following a performance which includes eye vision and Icebox mental training? Are you surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good, who pick you up when you are down and know how to bring a smile to your face? Do you wake up in the morning and affirm in the mirror that you are great, that you are talented and that you WILL succeed? The last and two most important two questions you need to ask yourself, once you have completed answering my questions is, have you been truly honest with yourself and do you believe that you can give more?
Unfortunately, life as a sportsman is like an arcade game, you are guaranteed that monsters will be coming at you hard and fast. You need to toughen up holistically, have clear goals and directives and give every day your best as if it were your last. Pain and stiffness are tomorrow’s problems. I will leave you with a quote that should hit home, from the famous South African golfer Gary Player, “The harder I work, the Luckier I get!”