A Message To Today's Athlete

by Bryan Henry     •     August 1, 2020     •     Mindset

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Let's Get Down To Business!

There is a lot to be talked about when it comes to today's athlete. Honestly, I’m not here to break down the athlete, what I am here to do is give you, the athlete a message on how to succeed, overcome failure, and better yourself every day. This is a pretty easy task to be quite honest, but many athletes are always looking for a shortcut or some magic potion that will get them where they want to go faster.

Why I Consider Myself Knowledgeable On This Topic.

It wasn’t always an easy journey, I was bullied, I was small, I was left out of things by my teammates, and now sitting at 6 foot 2 inches tall and 230 lbs I can say I persevered. Many long nights, weeks, months, and years went into the accomplishments that I can proudly put on my resume. I will tell you this, it came with a price, it came with having all of your baseball equipment destroyed by a teammate and his accomplice. It came with being blamed for games lost. It came with many car rides to and from training in which I was tirelessly working for 3 or more hours at a time, it didn’t matter if it was football, wrestling, or baseball season. I can tell you this though, as I sit here and talk about it I can without a doubt say it was all worth it and I would go back in a heartbeat and do it all again.

What Todays Athletes Need To Know!

Todays athletes need to know a few things. For starters, there is no cookie-cutter approach to doing things. This goes for all sports, it is a lot of work to be a high-level athlete and actually do something with your athletic career. The show and go approach doesn’t work anymore. There is always someone right on your heels waiting for you to slip up and make a mistake or think you have the job won. Let me tell you right now, don’t do it, don’t for a second think you have anything locked up because at any moment it can and will be taken away from you. let me give you a few tips to succeed as a modern-day athlete.

  1. Be Dynamic - Coaches are looking for the most dynamic, powerful, and competitive athlete there is out there. If they wanted average they could find that anywhere. If you have a chance to play multiple sports I strongly encourage that. This doesn’t mean it has to be a Varsity team at each level. It could be something as simple as an intramural team that is going to make you move in different motions. Anything that is going to challenge your body is going to make you a better player. That being said it’s crucial that you don’t stop training for your main sport. Just because we are increasing our athleticism doesn’t mean we neglect what the main goal is and that is to get to the highest level in our main sport.
  2. Be Humble - Nothing speaks volumes more than being humble. Coaches across all sports are always throwing around the term “makeup” and no they aren’t talking about cosmetic products. They are talking about your character, how you carry yourself on and off the field. They want to know that you are a yes sir/no sir type of guy or girl. A good support system and family is a plus because no coach wants to deal with an over-involved parent, keep your parents out of it. Time to put in the work, throw on your big boy/girl pants, make a name for yourself, and show your stuff. No one can win your battles but you!
  3. Be Relentless - In the pursuit of anything, you must be relentless. You ultimately have to be a wolf in a world of sheep. Those who are tentative are destined to come in last. If you ain’t first you’re last. (Ricky Bobby) Set a plan and execute it. Those who aren’t prepared tend to fall behind and never recover, because now you are scrambling to try and put the pieces together. I always keep this in the back of my mind, my dad once said you have to always play like you are the underdog, even if you are the #1 player in the country there is no time to be complacent. I feel that if you take this approach with everything you do there is no way you can’t be successful.
  4. Be Human - Everyone makes mistakes, everyone messes up, and everyone is human. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I think the biggest thing that all athletes fail to realize is that they are human. Let’s take baseball as our first example. 3 out of 10 times you are expected to get a hit so what does that ultimately tell us about an athlete, it is ok to fail, and fail, and fail some more. All victories are a product of failure somewhere along the line. Sports were built on failure more than success. In football, the average completion percentage for a quarterback is right around 60% maybe a little more. Right there you see that 4 out of 10 passes still aren’t being completed. Sports and life for that matter are a game of failure, there is no way around it so get used to it.

Final Thoughts!

I don’t have much to add here based off of the points above. Let me just say this, if you are going to set out to achieve something at the very least commit to it, what effort you put towards that commitment is up to you. I am sure you have heard this one, at the end of the day you don’t want to be that guy that looks back 5, 10, 15 years from now and goes man I wish I would have done this or done that. Regret will eat away at your for a lifetime. So moral of the story, don’t be that guy!

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