Avoid the Overhype

        Around the country over the last couple of weeks schools are starting to get fired up.  With that, athletes across the country enter college for the first time.  Excitement is in the air, and with good reason.  Starts provide an opportunity to start anew, to rededicate ourselves to a craft, or to latch on to new points of emphasis.  In some cases, we're meeting brand new people.  In other cases, we just haven't seen each other in a while.  Many high school athletes have played with other teams over the summer and are happy to see their teammates once again.  There is a buzz, and the buzz is great.  To steal a phrase applicable as college football gets ready to get fired up as well, "Everyone is undefeated."  What I mean in this case is the start of anything we like provides a chance to be excited and to forget all of the ups and downs of the previous year.  It's the same principle that gets everyone excited for their New Year's Resolutions.  "This is my chance!" is what we think.

        The real separator in who is most successful over the year and who is not is the ability to keep a consistent level of energy over the long haul.  Watch what I mean as the different scenarios above play out.  Many of the eager college freshmen will crash and burn after possibly facing adversity for the first time in their lives.  They may bring inconsistent efforts to the field that are predicated by inconsistent behaviors due to the many new distractions off of it.  Much of the optimism of a new school year will soon fade and be replaced by complaining about anything and anybody around us.  The high school athletes who are excited to see each other will be challenged as they get back to a reality present in an environment where playing time is no longer determined by Mom and Dad giving a check to their travel teams.  Somewhere, all of those things will indeed happen.  Somewhere else, college freshmen who are challenged will face those challenges as opportunities to improve.  They'll create quality work habits and discover their process.  They will do what they can do to get better on a daily basis.  Teachers will turn a cheek to the complainers and will keep what is important fresh in their heads throughout the year.  Some high school athletes and teams will take things day by day, embrace the fun with the not-so-fun, and will achieve success as a result.  The way many of the most successful will do it is with a consistent level of energy over a long period of time.

        There is a connection to my philosophy on sport psychology with this blog's theme.  In my opinion, true value in its concepts and teachings is seen over an extended period of time.  I implore you to be wary of people who will make claims of coming and speaking to you for a day and completely changing the way you think.  Like the excitement discussed above, the isolated talk will soon fade.  The true path to understanding who you are as an athlete or coach and how you can best perform isn't a secret formula bottled in a two day boot camp.  There is no secret formula at all, and there is no one path to excellence.  Most of what really makes life special happens over a period of time.  Sport is no different, and neither is the mental side.  With that, I challenge you to bring a consistent level of energy to whatever it is you are starting this time of year that you like to do.  Every day is truly an opportunity in and of itself, but success happens when individual days, filled with individual moments, add up.  My Grandpa Matty was not a rich man, but he wanted to buy a house.  He viewed every day he worked as a brick towards building his future house, and over time he had his home.  Build your success with this same approach.  One of my nutty theories I'm convinced is true is that focusing on what day of the week just absolutely crushes so many people's abilities to be productive consistently.  The reason it kills that consistency is because Monday is seen as a day to feel bad we aren't on the weekend, Friday is a day to cash it in, and anything goes on the weekend.  It's a wildly inefficient way of thinking and creates a process of inconsitency.  Have a great school year, sport season, and continue to Win Now!



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