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  • Writer's pictureJeff Butorac

6 Things You Can Control As An Athlete

Often, players are quick to point fingers elsewhere when something doesn’t go their way. I want to share with you a few of the elements an athlete or performer has full control over. By taking control of these factors, you’ll be eliminating excuses for why you didn’t perform at your best, allowing you to take more control of your performance. Unfortunately, many people often don’t take full advantage of controlling these, which keeps them from performing at their peak. Focusing on what you can control, including the following, will take your abilities to the next level:

Attitude – You choose whether to have a negative or positive attitude. You have control over what you focus on and how you talk to others. You don’t have to be happy and cheery all the time, but don’t let the Inner Rival’s negative voice take control and steer the ship. When you notice a negative attitude bubbling up, change it to a positive one. Your attitude also impacts those around you and is actually contagious.

The late Pat Summitt is one of the most highly decorated NCAA basketball coaches of all-time, with 7 NCAA Coach of the Year awards and 8 NCAA National Championships, along with numerous conference titles and other awards in her time coaching the University of Tennessee woman’s basketball team. During her time at the University of Tennessee she developed her coaching philosophy, which she called “The Definite Dozen.” One of those dozen was, “Handle success like you handle failure.” She understood that you had control over your attitude and how you handle success and failure. That it is important you don’t let the outcome of said event control how you feel or what you think. That choice is yours.

Fitness – You have full control of your fitness level, barring injury and illness. In your sport, there’s a certain fitness level you should attain to be competitive. If you’re not at that level, it is 100 percent up to you to get there. No one can improve your fitness level but you.

Effort – Only you can decide how hard you need to try. You can convince everyone that you’re trying your hardest, but only you know if you’re giving it your all. And that means something different for everyone. Just because you’re practicing more or performing better than someone else, doesn’t mean you’re doing your best. While at the same time, just because someone is practicing more or performing better than you, doesn’t mean you’re not doing your best.

Rest & Recovery – If you’re an active person who is struggling to focus and give a full effort, there’s a good chance it’s because you aren’t giving your mind and body enough time to rest and recover. When you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you need to give yourself time to recover both physically and mentally. Make sure you aren’t pushing too hard or letting yourself be pulled in too many directions. You need time to mentally and physically recharge.

Nutrition – You’re in charge of what goes into your body. Good in, good out. Bad in, bad out. It can be that simple. It’s important to treat your body well by giving it the right fuel for ample energy. Your nutrition has a huge effect on your focus and energy. Be mindful of what you put inside of yourself.

Reaction/ Response – You don’t always have control of the things that happen to and around you, but you do have control over how you react or respond to them. Whether it’s a bad call by a ref, trash talk by opponents or fans, or a change in the weather, you get to choose how you’ll react or respond to that adversity. As stated earlier in the book, the practice of meditation can be helpful in developing the ability to choose the way you want to respond.

Good luck Silencing Your Inner Rival

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