Embarrassing story time.
I remember hanging out by my cousins place when I was about 4 or 5 years old…just spending the day over there to play. We were running in the streets, jumping on the roof and climbing around the edge of the house, you know, typical crazy things you did as a child. When it was time to go inside I froze in front of the gate to their porch and started to cry hysterically.
I couldn’t move. My body was frozen with fright. Why???
Because there was a trail of ants trudging across the path in front of me and for whatever reason (I still don’t know to this day), I was terrified of them.
I don’t know what I thought they would do if I tried to step over them but my cousin told me to step over and refused to budge. After much coaxing from my family I jumped over them and never had that problem again.
I’m shaking my head over here. But why did I share that story?
I share it because I believe that it precisely captures the essence of what stops student-athletes or any person for that matter from crossing over to the elite side of performance. It really is the smallest things that stop us from experiencing what we actually already have. Here a list of three things that stop us:
You will never act in a way different from how you perceive yourself and the situation you are in. Your perception will literally stop your body from moving towards where you want to go. Your perception can be liberating or it can be more hardened and steely than actual chains on your feet. This is why high talent athletes, represented from all sports, can say that in order to be a champion you have to see yourself as one first or else you won’t move towards it.
Just like me as a child wanting to go inside but the ants were in the way, is the same way that the low perception you hold of yourself when mixed with the place you want to get to will raise debilitating emotions. Emotions like fear, deep frustration, anger, or hopelessness are first up for people in this situation. And the only way I’ve found that athletes deal with this is to become apathetic towards their growth or excuse-driven where other people are the problem…all for the subconscious attempt of alleviating the stress on themselves.
3) Lack of Trust
When someone is telling you to jump or step over into something that will help you get what you want or where you want to go, it’s your decision to Trust the beckoning. What does trust feel like? Trust is like hearing these three words inside your head when a coach is coaching you: Yes, Okay, Go. If there is no pause between when you hear an instruction and hearing these words inside of your head and an action immediately afterwards then there is full trust there. But a lack of trust will keep you on the sidelines of your greatest performance.
So what am I saying? I’m saying to not let a trail of ants stop you from getting to where you can be! #PushForward Take the time to listen to this awesome song and reflect on how you’ll always push to your best!!