As an athlete, what is your worst fear?
One of the worst fears may be an injury. You never know what will happen in your next game or practice. One wrong turn on the soccer field and you’ve twisted your ankle. Man, that sucks.
Then you’re out for however many weeks the doctor tells you, which means that right then and there could be the end of your season.
But even a previous injury you had last season can still be troubling you.
You don’t want a repeat of last season so you don’t give it your all.
You’ve done everything; practiced and trained, but you still can’t overcome this anxiety.
Another cause of fear can be demanding or unrealistic expectations you have to meet. The added stress of pleasing coaches, teammates and family members might can be too much for you.
You want to satisfy everyone, but worrying too much about what others think can mess with your head. You focus more on them instead of your own goals and what you need to do to succeed.
All of these examples lead up to the one ultimate fear, which I believe is the athlete’s worst enemy: the mind.
The mind tells us we can do it and again tells us we can’t. It plays tricks on us. It makes us not believe in ourselves. It makes us doubt what we know we are capable of doing on the field or on the track. It makes us think that nothing is possible and we begin to believe the negative thoughts inside out heads.
Can’t dunk the ball in the last few seconds of a game. Can’t get a faster 100-meter freestyle time then last season.
Our minds have the ability to govern who we are!
A part of us does this to our own selves