As soon as some challenge or adversity arises, one of the biggest mistakes players and coaches make is allowing their brains to think “I just don’t have what it takes.”
Maybe you’ve done it before. You have a terrible at bat or you make a terrible call as a coach and immediately you allow yourself to think that you’re just not good enough…
As if the best players in the game never looked silly at the plate. As if the best coaches in history never made a bad call they wish they could take back.
Just about anything you could possibly face has been faced before. Just about anything you could possible do has been done before. Just about any mistake you could possibly make has been overcome before! There is a way through it…
but not if you give up.
Challenge and adversity comes to anyone who’s ever played or coached this game. Just about every player in every sport messed up at some point or another. Even Michael Jordan missed numerous game winning shots and admits to “failing” many, many times.
In fact, he’s probably failed more times in his basketball career than you’ve failed in your softball career and yet you think you can’t while he knows he can. Worlds of difference exist between those two outlooks!
Is he talented? Yes, but one of the biggest differences between great players and ordinary players is mindset!
You must take ownership. You must make yourself face each obstacle, face each challenge, face each bit of adversity, and keep pushing forward through it all no matter how tough things get.
Great players have an “elite” mindset, not necessarily elite physical skills, but definitely an elite mentality. In their minds just because things didn’t work this time doesn’t mean it won’t work next time. They believe in the “Any given Sunday” concept. On any given day, anything can happen. The underdog can win. The person with the worst batting average on the team can get the game winning hit. The lowest pitcher in your depth chart can deliver the performance of her life and lead your team to the biggest win of the season when no other option existed.
Ordinary players, on the other hand, fail and believe future experiences hold only that same result over and over and over. So one of two things happen: they quit, or because of their beliefs, they bring about the same negative result.
It’s not just their thinking that brings about that same negative result. It’s their efforts (or lack of effort) as a result of their thinking that decreases their chances of success in the future.
If you truly don’t believe you can do something how hard do you train or try to do it? Not very. Obviously, when you don’t train to succeed, well, guess what? Your chances of success become severely limited!
Take two players learning a new skill. Each one tried it once, both failed to execute it right. One knows they’ll be able to do it if they keep trying. They know the more they practice, the quicker they’ll get it. The other player simply thinks the skill is too hard for them and they’re “obviously” incapable of it. They don’t believe they can perform the skill since they’ve already tried and failed.
Now which player do you think will work harder to learn this skill? Which player do you think will eventually learn this skill and leave the other in the dust even though their physical ability is the same as the other player’s?
Right, the player who believes she can.
Mindset is so important. If you want to dramatically increase your skill and rate of success, think “elite.” Do not let obstacles or failures hold you back. Wannabes give up when things get tough. Great players with “elite” mentality push through tough times and believe they can even when the odds are stacked against them.
Simply deciding: “yes I can” or “no I can’t” profoundly affects what you achieve or don’t achieve. So be conscious of, and deliberate about, the thoughts you allow in your mind.