Thoughts from the Sidelines
Fall is here and for many families that means sports……. whether coaching our kids or cheering from the sidelines. Playing sports shouldn’t be just about winning or losing. There are many lessons learned on the field that will help our children (and ourselves) throughout life.
“WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING, BUT WANTING TO WIN IS.” This important lesson was shared by Vince Lombardi. It’s all about the process and not the results. Yes, it may feel great to win or to score that goal but playing your heart out really is what it’s all about. Learning to lose and keep your head up high is just as important as cheering and celebrating when you win.
JUST GO FOR IT: When on the field, the number one goal is to go for it. Focus the entire time you’re on the field. Take it from Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE: Perfection isn’t important. There is always room for improvement. Even the greatest athletes practice hours every day because they understand the importance of sharpening their skills.
LEARN FROM YOUR STRIKE: As the great Babe Ruth taught us, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” Celebrate the challenges because that means you are learning and moving one step closer to your goal. Remember…. in baseball Hall of Fame batters can strike out 2 of every 3 times they are at bat.
MIND SET IS KEY: Believing in yourself and your team is half the battle. The great soccer player Lionel Messi reminds us, “Something deep in my character allows me to take the hits and get on with trying to win.” Don’t dwell on every missed shot. Get back up on your feet, get your head in the game and crush it!
IT AIN’T OVER TIL IT’S OVER: Don’t stop until the whistle is blown, the buzzer is sounded or until the referee calls game over. Every second counts on the field. Even though your team may be down by a ton, keep your head down and continue to fight. A game can change in a second so never give up the fight.
RELATIONSHIPS AND TRUST: The bonds that are made on the field are ones that will last a lifetime. As Bo Schembechler always said, “THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM.” Building trust with your teammates and developing friendships extend beyond the game field. Remember, the word TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More.
MAKING MISTAKES IS INEVITABLE: Running the wrong direction, missing the shot, passing to the opponent…. mistakes will happen. Look at every mistake as a learning experience and ask yourself, “Why did that happen and what can I do next time to change the outcome?”
EMOTIONAL REGULATION: Learning to channel your emotions is so important. Frustration, excitement or anger are all a part of the process. Regulating emotions is a skill that will help in all aspects of a player’s life.
And always remember, failing and losing is the key to success. Take it from Michael Jordan, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 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.”