This metaphor is excellent and easy to relate to. Picture this; you have a target in your sight. The rifle is cocked, and you have a clear shot. You could not have drawn it up better. Your finger is on the trigger, but nothing happens. You won’t pull the trigger. Now you have missed your shot because the target has moved, and your fear is increased for the next shot.
This is not what you train for. You train to score points. In life and athletics, the window of opportunity only opens slightly and brief. You cannot score without some risk. Hell, you can’t do anything without some risk. I tell you with absolute conviction that waiting is a trap! I have to ask, what are you waiting for? I think I know so let me save you time. What you’re waiting for is not coming. This particular bus does not make this particular stop. You want the bus of “Guarantee.” This bus will not be along any time soon; it has been out of business for a long time.
Think about this, you have trained, rehearsed and physically pulled the trigger several thousand times. I bet you have not done anything as much as you have pulled this particular trigger. The fact is you’re a well-oiled machine. It’s nothing physical. It’s clearly a mental link in the chain that needs adjusting. So, take a deep breath in and out. Pull the trigger. See how easy it is, nothing catastrophic. Now pull it again and again, and again. Make a decision you’ll increase your attempts. Increased attempts = increased success. Pull the trigger!
Competing like you’re walking around on a minefield will not get your hand raised. I would have to say its fear of not succeeding or hitting your target. We all go through it. The fact about fear is it will keep you where you are and will paralyze you. So, with this being said, how has competing with this immobilizing fear worked for you? I know how it’s working. Its @#$&^% stinking up the place. Listen man, you’re not getting the results you’re capable right now. I will predict your future if you want, and I will be accurate. Here it is, and listen close – don’t change anything, and you will keep getting the same results. On the other hand, make a change and you will increase your chance to get your hand raised. What in god’s name are you afraid of? Is it losing? You’re already losing or coming up short. You’re already not reaching your potential! This is on YOU! YOU have to change the way you communicate with yourself or settle into a LIFETIME of underachieving and not reaching your potential.
I’m going to be as truthful as I can. Do you think you’re a selfish person? Regardless of your answer, low self-esteem or low confidence is the king of self-centeredness. When you’re not feeling confident or you’re feeling doubtful, where are your thoughts focused? Yea, that’s right; your thoughts are steeped in yourself. No wonder you feel you can’t change or break this cycle. In the heart of hearts, do you really think anyone is hung up on your or wins or losses’? NO! Nothing really changes in our lives for more than a short period of time. How many matches have you lost in your life? And look, you’re still here today. Get out of yourself. Get to a place where you, for lack of better words say, ‘%&^$ it!” Stop walking around like you winning or losing is a big deal, it’s not. So, no more pressure. Take the mental handcuffs off. Enough!!!!! Haven’t you had enough? Well, you can keep your misery and unfavorable results or you can let go and stop holding on so tight.
Give 100% efforts in training and competition, and that’s all you can do. Stop trying to find ways out! Stop looking for injuries, alibis, excuses, or explanations. We can see right through it! It does not have to be this way. Your mind, your communication with yourself and your results can be different when you decide. Don’t wait or look to anyone else. You have to make this decision on your own. No one can do it for you. So, what is it going to be? If you choose to stay the same, then you’re choosing to be this way. Let’s just be clear that it’s by your own hands and no one else’s.
It is not about eliminating fear; it’s about acting in spite of fear. You have to ask yourself, did I win the battle with myself today? It’s a trouble spot that can be eliminated as soon as you take action. Obviously, you’re not hitting the target by not pulling the trigger. And you surely can reason that your odds go up tremendously by actually firing that shot.
The good news is you can change the very next time out. You may think it will take time to make the change, but I say nonsense! You can decide to pull the trigger and succeed as soon as your answer changes from no to yes. And if you miss, so what! Monday still follows Sunday, night still follows day, and January still follows December. Nothing much changed, but you have.
You dared to get your hand raised. This may seem like little consolation if you do not hit your target. However, you’re investing for the future. Trust your coaches; it’s paramount for later victory. Through the annals, the victory almost always goes to the aggressor. I am not talking about being reckless. I’m talking about increasing your opportunity for success.
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 email@example.com
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