This is why I think we have one of the best gyms around. We don’t use or let our athletes use that kind of language. To us, “can’t” is just as bad as any other four letter word you can think of. We want every athlete who walks through our doors to be positive and to use their brains to take the brakes off their performance. As coaches and parents it’s our responsibility to stop putting mental brakes on our kids and to create an environment where they believe in themselves and are set up to succeed. If you happen to fail (and you will from time to time) then fail forward and learn from the experience. Most kids that fail get discouraged too easily and give up instead of bouncing back.
In 1993, Michael Jordan retired from the game of basketball, saying he had lost the desire to play the game after the death of his father. He had won three NBA Championships and had twice been named league MVP. Certainly no one could fault him if he decided to end it there, as he had an amazing career up to that point. But after a brief stint as a minor league baseball player, Jordan returned to the NBA in 1995 after issuing his famous two word press release of “I’m back.” At that time there were people and critics skeptical of his return who wondered if he would be able to play at the same level he had before. Had Jordan listened to the critics and allowed his mind to be poisoned by negativity, maybe he wouldn’t have been as successful as he was, but as many of you know, he bounced right back and lead the Bulls to another three straight NBA Championships from 1996-1998. One of his most famous quotes illustrates the point I made earlier about failing forward:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Do you think the words “I can’t” ever went through his head? He also said “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” I could go on and on providing countless examples of sports legends who were quoted on the importance of positive thinking and having a positive mindset.
To use another example from basketball, Larry Bird’s daily routine included a long distance run, practice games with his teammates, exercises, and short-distance runs all sandwiched between shooting drills. It’s no wonder he was such a great 4th quarter player – he was in better shape than anyone else. More than 15 years later, Bird astounded many of the Pacers players by running a mile in 5:20. By doing so Bird set the tone for the conditioning program that the team endured over the summer as they approached training camp.
On the other end of the spectrum your habits can also have a negative impact. Terrell Owens was known to be outspoken and frequently stirred up conflict in the locker room and with the media. Despite being in incredible shape and an amazing athlete, with all the talent in the world, his bad habits were his downfall and eventually led to him being unemployed.
So remember, good habits can make you and bad habits can break you. The choice is up to you.
If you need the tools to develop the right mindset to be a winning athlete, give us a call today and we’ll help you get started on the road to success.