An Open Letter To The Athlete With An Attitude Problem
Sports

To The Athlete With An Attitude Problem

An open letter to every player who struggles with the mental game.

761
To The Athlete With An Attitude Problem

Dear Athlete,

I'm not going to bark at you or call you a punk, so just hear me out.

The fact is, I understand you, because I was you.

My shoulders would drop the moment I missed a shot. My head would hang after a turnover. My confidence would plummet at the first sign of criticism.

It's OK to have high expectations for yourself. It's OK to strive for perfection. It's OK to want to perform well every time you suit up, but it's not OK to allow these things to affect your effort. It's not OK to have a negative attitude because you aren't performing your best. It's not OK to sacrifice team success due to a lack of individual success. Don't allow one mistake to turn into many more the way that it did for me.

A theory that I have found to be true is this: Success is inevitable for a resilient perfectionist.

I was terrified of looking bad. I felt that if I didn't perform perfectly every time I stepped into the arena, I was failing. The truth is, I was failing, but not in the way that I originally thought. To fail is to be unsuccessful in achieving one's goal. You cannot be a perfectionist and be mentally weak at the same time. I always viewed failure as a bad thing, not realizing that every failed attempt would bring me closer to where I wanted to be. If your goals are unattainable, you have to learn to embrace failure.

Thinking back on my high school career, I can't remember a single game where I tried my hardest and still didn't play well. My best games were a result of making a decision within myself to strive for maximum effort, not minimal errors.

Don't be afraid to show emotion. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Don't be afraid to try too hard because you're worried about "looking cool."

Because you know what?

Being the loudest cheerleader on the bench is cool. Diving for loose balls is cool. Messing up because you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is cool.

It took me 18 years to realize these things, but it takes way more guts to show that you care than it does to have an "I-don't-give-a-f***" attitude.

When the final buzzer sounded and my high school career was over, I promise you this: I did not think about all the shots that I missed. A reel of turnovers that I had committed over the years did not run through my head. In fact, I didn't remember a single skill-related error that I made. The only thing that raced through my mind was, "I wish that I could go back to freshman year and try harder."

Not try harder to score more points or minimize turnovers.

Try harder to be the best teammate from the start. Try harder in practice. Try harder to build confidence. Try harder to compete. Try harder to make those around me better.

I learned the hard way. I eventually embraced what it means to be a great teammate. Find it within yourself to change your outlook now, not later. Trust me when I say that you will be so glad you did. You never get those early years back.

Sincerely,

An Athlete With A Former Attitude Problem

Report this Content
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Listen, you can do whatever you want with your free time. It's yours to spend and you have free range. However, I hope you recognize that there are a ton of proactive things you can do right now instead of stalking your man's ex – yes, I know you do it becuase we are all guilty of it.

Take this time to research your privilege. There are always new things to learn and ways to deepen your understanding of yourself, this world, and your surroundings. We live in a multi-dimensional, ever-changing society that needs your help and your time. By that, I mean there are so many layers to each and every one of us, and with our physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional selves, we can create real, positive change.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Preview These Top Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 Picks — From Luxury Purses To Skincare

Currently 3 million people viewing the Stella McCartney purse I absolutely must have.

Online shopping has been a guilty pleasure of ours for years, but now more than ever it's been a shopping lover's outlet for all our home redecorating projects and resort wear we're purchasing for that trip we had to cancel.

One of my favorite places to (virtually) window shop has always been Nordstrom. I admittedly can't afford to go on sprees there often, but I still get a high off of adding things to my cart I know I'll never actually end up buying. But sometimes, that's not enough — that's when I, like the masses of luxury-, beauty-, fashion-, and decor-lovers around the world count the days down to the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Keep Reading... Show less

I remember the days where closet drinking before going to a party or bar was part of the night's itinerary. It was a requirement to have a good buzz flowing before calling the Uber to take you to that bar where you see everyone from your high school at. The pregames were the best part of the night, but it wasn't ever because of the alcohol, it was because of the atmosphere and those who were in it. The number of times I've heard "Wait, why aren't you drinking tonight? C'mon, get drunk with us" is endless, but think about it. Where were you when you were asked that? You were at the goddamn pregame and being there doesn't mean you need to be ripping shots. Being social doesn't require alcohol.

I asked 20 people how they cut back on alcohol while still being social.

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you are quarantining away from your significant other because of coronavirus or separated by the country lines at this time, it's fair to say that long-distance relationships are tough no matter what. However, there are ways to show love from a distance whether that's through daily FaceTime calls, cute Snapchats, or sexy pics sent to them on their phone. You can brighten up their day even more with some of these unique gifts that can fit any price range and a variety of interests.

Keep Reading... Show less

Rihanna is known for many things: her music, fashion, makeup, and now skincare. As a makeup artist myself, I can confidently say that she rocked the makeup world when she released her makeup line in 2017 and has been influencing the beauty world ever since.

Trying some of her makeup products myself, I know that she doesn't skimp on quality, and even though some of her products may be a little pricey, trust me, you get what you pay for.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, no one needs to be reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the U.S. Frankly, this is because we have all collectively decided not to do the one simple thing that was asked of us and wear a mask.

I could make this a very boring article, and berate you with facts and statistics and the importance of wearing a mask, but I have opted against that for both of our sakes. Instead, I will attempt to reach you in another way. You might not care about a disapproving look from me, but from Nick Miller? Maybe that will be enough to change your mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments