As it so happened, I received the following video in a newsletter I regularly receive from an exercise guru. I'd seen the video before -- long ago, actually, but it struck me in a different way today. In a way, it has nothing to do with the title of this entry -- or does it? You tell me..
Motivational speaker, Eric Thomas, is on a tear there, but he's actually talking about things that take place on a daily or nightly basis in the sports world. I happened to have been a team sport guy, but I'll suggest the traits Thomas is talking about are honed in athletes playing on either the team-type or individual sports. Once again, I'm saying that athletes learn those kinds of things every day, at a field, gym or rink.
From a personal perspective, I'm talking about broken noses in practice -- without missing my next turn, a few broken fingers -- still not missing time, along with the occasional sprain and pull. I'm lucky that the worst of my sports injuries involved serious ligament tears in my right ankle, that I bounced back quickly from -- DESPITE my doctor's orders.
I honestly don't believe that the physical bumps and bruises are what really makes an athlete grow, however -- at least beyond a point. No, being benched, being bumped from your starting job, or even having a coach suggest those things might happen are what will surely get the real athlete's attention. (I'll even go so far as to ask in a CoachChic.com article, "Are Bad Coaches Good For Players?")
I think the reason that video struck such a chord with me this morning is because I've been reflecting on some setbacks lately. Let me tell you, though, that "reflecting" is the right way to put it. I mean, I am not dwelling on any of them -- at all. In fact, Brenda and I were talking about the worst of occurrences that took place shortly after we met -- about the people who seemed only too glad to nearly wipe me out, and I told her I just had to put them out of my mind. Oh, that doesn't mean that I don't see a given face flash in my mind from time to time, but I use those more as motivation, and hardly as a chance to sulk. No, that wouldn't have worked battling through an injury, it wouldn't have helped keep my position on a team when it was in jeopardy, and it certainly wouldn't help me today to slowly but surely put my business life back together.
Then, hoping I've made my point here -- about how growing up in sports prepared me well for life's challenges, let me return to Eric Thomas' video. For, I think the real message in his story was the need for the young subject to realize whether or not he really "wanted it". To me, some things are worth paying a great price for, while others mean very little to me.
And, while I was ready to close on that last paragraph, something else hit me that I feel the need to share... To be honest, my mom and dad supported me unbelievably, but they never pushed -- one iota. One thing they never did to me, though, was to tell me what I was trying so hard at wasn't important. On the other hand, I see and hear a lot of the opposite nowadays -- be it due to political correctness or whatever. Don't forget what I said above, however, in that the athlete, himself or herself, takes things personally. Few others are going to care, but I think the parents surely could, at the very least, show their support -- without that support being a crutch. No, the parent doesn't want to take away the learning experiences that could last their youngster a lifetime.
If you liked this entry, you might like "Being Honest With Our Hockey Players".