I truly wish there would be some specific formulas to success but unfortunately there is no such thing. There are healthy habits players, coaches and successful people build and develop over time which allows them to succeed. Successful athletes are constantly looking for feedback, invest lots of time into themselves and their training routines. They have a clear mission and vision of what they want to accomplish and an unbelievable will power. The more education and self awareness players build, the more likely to succeed. They will have the right aproach in place when difficult situations arise. There is no easy path to success and those that reach it they know how many sacrifices they’ve made and how much work they’ve put in.
I have outlined 11 steps to help players succeed in their sports journey and life. A great attitude will allow players to have a good mindset where they constantly look to get challenged and learn so they can grow not only as players but also as individuals.
1. Don’t fear of getting out of your comfort zone
This will quickly allow players to try new things and being comfortable with being uncomfortable. It can accelerate the process of embracing failures and over time players can build more confidence in themselves. This is a key factor that can make the difference in all athletes’ performances. A player no matter how good s/he is, they will never be able to showcase their talent and show their abilities without their full confidence.
2. Choose to never quit
I know things will get hard and it seems like no one understands your pain or frustrations. They key is to have the power and strength of believing in yourself that you can always finish what you’ve started. Trust me, you can. You just got to push harder because one day you will master those skills and it will become more natural.
Back in my college years, I went to some classes where I got intimidated by the teacher’s expectations and work load for the class. So I had to put a bit more extra time in that class, but I never gave up.
I may have complained at times that practice was hard and I didn’t see the point in this, but I never gave up. Always show up for the challenge and finish it. You will feel so much better at the end of the day.
3. Prepare and plan
To prepare is different than to plan. There is no doubt that plans are great and beneficial for success. Preparation and execution is king in my opinion. Just like in business, you can have the greatest idea ever, but if you can’t prepare to execute it right then everything will fail. So prepare yourself and plan accordingly but be laser focus on executing and delivering the results. Train harder, smarter and plan to build better routines and if you execute all those things to your best abilities, you’ll most likely get better results.
4. Break big goals into small goals
If your ultimate goal is to play in college or at the pro level, then you should break that goal into multiple small goals. I like to be optimistic and keep a positive attitude so I can focus and work hard on my goals. If my goal was to play in college, I would do the following:
- Where do I stand now.
- Get as much feedback as possible from all my coaches.
- Know my strengths and weaknesses and always try to improve them. Especially my weaknesses.
- I need a proper nutrition and recovery plan so I can push myself harder in training.
- I need to compete at a high level so I can get challenged to grow.
- Keep working hard no matter what.
- Get more feedback.
- No excuses.
- Be on time.
- Do really well in school so I can graduate and be ready to find a great college fit.
- Always stay in shape, stretch and be ready for a challenge everyday.
- Be thankful for the opportunity and for those around you.
- Constantly educate myself.
- I won’t compare myself with others.
- Team always comes first.
5. Make progress
If you work hard on and off the field and you feel like there is no progress, then take a step back and look at another way of getting things done. We are all wired differently and we learn in different ways. So, one way of doing things may not work for others and vice-versa. I like to learn things visually so my memory remembers it better. Progress is what we all look for because at the end of the day we want to be recognized for our efforts and hard work. Write things down you want to improve on and see how you do. Remember, there is always a solution to get things done. You just need to find the one that works best for you.
6. Focus on what’s important to you
If you are not focusing on what’s important to you, then you won’t be able to improve and measure the success of your activities. With time you will fall behind. Don’t let this happen to you. If you want to improve on something, you need to measure it so you can track your progress. Start focusing on what is really important to you as time is crucial and you want to use it wisely.
7. Don’t multi-task
I know, it’s hard not to do it. The minute you stat multi-tasking, you will slowly lose your concentration and you won’t be able to deliver the best outcome you are are capable of. Focus on one thing at the time and take a break every 30 min or so until you complete your task. Work on your homework without the phone next to you as it’s the biggest distraction and you can easily end up on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Musicaly, or other social media platforms.
8. Accept the fact that life is not always fair
Use this sentence to motivate you to work harder than anyone else. Even when you feel like all your hard work is not paying off, just keep pushing. The sooner you will accept the fact that life is not fair, the better. This will help your mindset overcome many difficulties in sports and life. Some players got a bit more luck than you and they ended up at a better school. So what. It’s always about what you make of your opportunities. You could end up to a different school that’s not as competitive and you could get more playing time while you end up with a better job. You never know what’s in store for you. Never lose your faith in God, and in yourself no matter the situation. You will survive and you will be stronger as long as you are prepared and fully accept the reality.
9. Surround yourself with people better than you
You will learn from players who are better than you and you’ll grow quicker. I tell all my players that if you are the best one in the team by a mile, you are in the wrong team. Get advise from coaches, players and have mentors you can relay on. You can always talk to your mentors about what’s bothering you, how you feel, what you should do, etc. They have been there and they did what you are doing now. Their advise it’s gold for you because you won’t make the same mistakes as they did. Let’s hope not.
10. Keep on smiling
It’s free to smile and it doesn’t cost you anything. I know, sometimes when you feel like crying, how can you smile? Well, try to smile and think that the pain is only temporary and the best cure for it is happiness. So, smile no matter how hard your chicks hurt because better days will come. When you smile, you make more friends, people are more likely to help you and your attitude is so much better. Can’t even tell you about your mood. It can change everything.
11. Skill vs. Success
Make sure you know the difference. Now if you got skills in your sport, great. But remember that skill is not enough to make you successful. It will help you make your life easier an execute when under pressure but it won’t guarantee you success. You need to be psychologically strong so you can compete in games when the real pressure comes. The right mindset and preparation together with your skills, will give you the confidence to succeed.