When it comes to success in sport, it often gets labeled with physicality. Whom is the strongest or fastest is the best. This can be true and does make a difference. That success in sport is dependent on greater aspects and values beyond the physical nature that matter most. Being the best is just a label. Truly, being the best is what you consistently do to be better. Even if you are the best, you cannot stop there.
First and Foremost, Have Fun!
You can play seriously and, at the same time, have fun. Competition needs to be fun and not intimidating. It does not make you any less of a player and will actually make you a better one. When you are having fun, you perform easily, less rigidly, better, and think faster, without unwanted stress. It does not mean slack at practice or on the field. It just means you have a passion for playing. And, the key to success is to hone in on that passion. It is essential. Being passionate will keep you honest about your strengths and weaknesses. You become more mindful and truthful about your ability and skill and understand that; weakness means refinement, not abandonment. When you are passionate, you have a strong core value system to be better and make things better
When you love what you do, you have fun and don’t see failure as failure. You see how failure improves your success. If you don’t love what you are doing, it disrupts the mind, stresses the body, and does not satisfy the spirit. It will show.
Don’t Hide Your Weakness
Be honest; acknowledge and face your weaknesses to make them better, not push them under the rug to be hidden or make excuses. You may be a star on the field because of your speed, your agility, or how you kick or throw a ball. If you have a weakness that lingers and you try to hide it, when you enter a higher level of sport, the cracks in your foundation become more exposed. This will be a limiting factor. Even if it is so small, it will have the greatest setback and negative impact on your performance.
Often, you cannot see what someone else sees. Sometimes you can get so focused that it narrows and minimizes your performance. To improve, you must accept constructive criticism when losing, when creating errors, or in general. The people you should take criticism from are people like your coaches, parents, and your teammates.
Be honest with yourself, or you will just be masking future failure. If you are not honest about your faults, you will continue to make small errors that lead to bigger ones. No one is perfect. The more you understand that a master is always a student, you will be a master. Without understanding this, you will never create mastery.
No matter the score, never give up! It does not matter if you will or lose. It is how you play the game. Never let the situation of the game define your character and how you play. You will develop yourself more from your determination and effort on the field that will enhance your perspective; the reason passion is important because it leads to perseverance. If you stay determined, you will always perform this way. Be persistent, but be patient and relaxed at the same time.
Believe in Yourself
Understand what works and does not work for you. Have faith in your ability. When you fuse your physicality, talent, and skills with perseverance, passion, and sincerity, you become more attuned and enhanced. “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”- Roy T. Bennett.
Everyone on the field is playing hard to win. Whether it is the opposing player, your teammate, the referee, or your coach, you must show respect. At the end of the game, leave all the tension on the field. Accept the decision of the game, always shake hands before leaving the field, and review what you need to do to improve.
Success in sport is not a straight path. It is a mixture of ups and downs, wins and losses, successes and failures. It is how you acknowledge the downs, failures, and losses that create success. The challenges, plight, and struggles are a part of the process. They are hints to help you be better, to go above and beyond, and constantly improve.
Honesty leads to sincerity. Sincerity leads to passion. Passion leads to perseverance.
Follow this and it will not only lead to success but produce the best of a better you. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”- Winston Churchill