If you’re going to be there anyway – Motivation by Mark Schwab

Why is it many are often at practice or training but thinking or wishing they were somewhere else? It can be difficult some days to be mentally where you are physically. Let’s take you being an athlete for example. You know what you signed up for. You know you’re going to be at practice every afternoon and for some sports, most mornings. In our sport of wrestling, you’re training multiple times daily.

About Mark SchwabMany exercise their daydreams, wishes, and thoughts of being elsewhere. The reality is you’re always going to be somewhere and unless you plan on quitting, make a conscious decision to mentally be where you physically are. If you signed up for the sport, submerge yourself in it, and if you’re going to be “there” anyway, enlist in the army of – I’m all in. Push all of your chips in! Wrestling is not a part-time sport. Almost everything in your life is built around training and competition, and once you get to college, it’s an entirely different grind. This is why many fade away. I don’t blame athletes for being tired of the sport and college wrestling is exhausting but infinitely rewarding. If you’re to be there anyway, be there! Man, this sport lets you know you’re alive!!!

If you use your time intelligently, it takes little-to-no-more time to have quality in your training. If you’re going to be there anyway, it’s to your benefit to engage in and expend excellence. Sign your training with an exclamation point! Put your stamp of mastery on your effort and attitude. If you’re going to be there anyway, apply your entire self in where you are – this is a depth where wonders are put into motion and attained.

Time actually goes faster when you’re absorbed in your training and efforts. You actually get paid twice when you fully attend your labors. You benefit in the now because all faculties are committed so the improvement is deeper, and you benefit in the later when it’s actually time to compete. We tend to fight harder when we’re fully invested and our confidence always runs deeper and completely when we’re fully immersed. You might call it focused energy.

We all mentally meander. This is how the master electrician wired us. Though, we also have the capacity to reduce our thought-roaming and focus. The key is to be “hip to the drift” that’s happening within, and consolidate your thoughts and actions. When these two get together, they’re incredibly potent. This is where goals and dreams prosper.

We all waft at times. This is perfectly human. Our thinking, without guidance and awareness, will certainly drift into doubt, limitations, and falseness. Our thoughts are also a lot like a pinball, and our mind is a subtle magnet. Our psyche can be very sneaky and underhanded, much like the magnets that persuade the metal pinball down the drains. Our objective is to keep the ball in play as long as possible. We can refer to the ball “in play” as favorable, supportive, optimistic, stable, and durable thoughts.

For most of us, left to our own mind, our thoughts beat us up. They limit us, are derogatory, judgmental, fragile, selfish, and defeating. Does this sound pessimistic, or is it reasonably true? The bottom line is most of us have conflict with our thoughts. We make our time a lot more broken and coarse than it has to be. If others talked to us the way we mentally talked to ourselves, we would defend, resist, and respond. So respond! Give yourself the gift of realization and transformation. Commit to memory, “If I’m going to be here anyway, I’m going to be engaged and a full participant in my present time.” Our attendance in full mental engagement can improve a little at a time. Cultivate a mindset that “If I’m going to be here anyway and find myself drifting away in thought, I’ll make a cognizant decision to be inwardly where I am physically. I will immerse myself in my trade.” You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to make an effort to focus and aspire.

I often hear “It is what it is” but we can surely carry on a little better than “it is what it is.” We may not have control over a lot, but we do have control over what can and will make the most difference in our lives. Also, and by no means less important, if we can practice a little acceptance in our lives, we would lighten our heavy psychological load. Acceptance is not giving in or giving up, well, actually in some cases it’s just that. Though, in this case, acceptance is acknowledging and awareness that wherever you are, you’re going to make the best of it. In fact, you’re going to get the MOST out of it. You’re going to institute sensible and superior effort. I mean, take a deep breath, get out of you and become captivated with your present moment and current undertaking. If you’re going to be there anyway, you might as well sign your training with quality, competence and promise.


Mark Schwab is an assistant coach at the University of Northern Iowa. Previously he spent nine years as assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, helping the program to seven top-three team finishes at the NCAA Championships and two NCAA team titles. As a wrestler, Schwab was an All-American for the University of Northern Iowa during the late 1980s. Schwab earned his bachelor’s degree in 1990 from the University of Northern Iowa and his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2003. Schwab returned to the University of Minnesota to get a second emphasis in sport psychology on his existing master’s and completed that in 2010. Email Mark at mark.schwab@uni.edu.