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The mental game

The mental game someone possesses will determine their resiliency as obstacles appear in all aspects of life.

Can life really be this hard? People ask themselves this question on a daily basis. In these times of uncertainty it is more important than ever to get your head right.

What does it mean to get your head right? Is it different for every single person? Is there a playbook or a schematic to follow? Is everything a question all the time? It’s just a real jumbled up mess out there in 2020.

Athletes at every age and skill level are dealing with these issues right under our noses. Even with the best coaches and parents as mentors, this twilight zone we call 2020 has without a doubt taken a mental toll not soon to be forgotten. How a person handles the world completely shutting down has little to do with the immediate guidance given and more to do with how emotionally equipped they were in life leading up to the pandemic.

Also, it is undoubtably more difficult to be an adult now than one year ago. Relationships between people have dissipated, attitudes have completely changed, careers have taken a turn for the worst. The pandemic has changed some people to the point where they are unrecognizable. If this can happen to the older, seemingly more experienced generation then what about the generation of people who are still finding their way in life?

Older or younger, we all have toxic people in our lives that have to go. This is a huge part of getting where someone needs to be mentally. This could be one of the harder parts of life, creating bonds with people then realizing they are not on the same path as you or they do not have your best interests at heart. Having the courage to step away from those who are not interested in seeing you succeed shouldn’t be difficult, but it totally can be. This is because sometimes their words are positive and their actions are negative. This can cause you to have confusion and doubt about yourself in your own mind. Recognize this and be strong enough to move on to doing what is right for you, the people who really do care and your own mental strength. Self discipline is also a huge part of your mental game. Waking up every morning and choosing your attitude, whether in quarantine, distance learning or actually going to work, school or practice, is on you. When is the last time you opened your eyes and said ”I am going to be great today”. Try making this the first thing you do one day and see how it changes your outlook on the whole day. Being great can be holding the door for someone who needs it, paying it forward at the drive thru or simply siezing the opportunity to do something nice for someone. Think about how you feel after performing a kind act, it alway makes You feel good inside.

My point is we all need to be working on our mental game. It’s kind of hard to be an adult and want to give good advice or talk through issues with anyone younger looking for guidance when we are battling with ourselves in our own minds about so many things. There are still so many people sitting on the fence about major issues confronting us today. Who to vote for, is COVID real, should we wear masks, why are certain sports cancelled, why and why and why....

Mental toughness can come from faith. Faith comes in a lot of different forms. It could be faith in religion or faith in your leaders or faith in your family, but I really think it has to come from faith in yourself. Believe in yourself, trust in your character and willingness to persevere through anything that comes your way. Remember, even though this sounds like a bold statement, no one cares about YOU as much as YOU.

Sure everyone has family and friends. We all have that that special someone in our life that is it for us. Still, you are the ultimate master of your destiny, the true guardian of your mind, body snd soul. When no one else is watching you only have yourself to answer to. So how a person views themself after knowing all of their own secrets, can really put a person in the right or wrong mental place.

Find that niché that works for you. Whether it be training for and playing sports, making music, art, school, building a career, whatever it is, use it to make yourself feel good. Try to be the best you can be at what you do. You don’t have to be the best, but you have to give your best effort. You have to believe in your heart that you put your true self into what you do. Leave no room for doubt or regret. Create a certain sense of pride that can only come privately from inside yourself.

So, for athletes, coaches, parents and just anyone who is struggling in this 2020 craziness, work on getting your head right. Be a good person, have integrity, have passion, take care of yourself and most of all... have faith that if you give your best effort to do the right thing in any situation, you will usually not be wrong.

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