“There is no shortcut. Victory lies in overcoming obstacles every day.” – Anonymous.
Challenges in athletics aren’t a new concept. Think of Jackie Robinson, Remember the Titans and Rocky; the list could go on and on. Stories of adversity in sports are ubiquitous because obstacles are unavoidable on the field, in the locker room and at home. As this week’s quote by an unknown author says, we cannot have victory without obstacles. The question is, how will you handle those obstacles? It’s an issue we’ve discussed before, but we keep coming back to it because finding strategies to cope with adversity is essential. Here are four steps to follow in order to face adversity head-on.
- Adjust Your Attitude.
Adversity is inevitable in life: on the field, in the classroom, in relationships and in families. When you’re faced with a new obstacle, the very first thing you need to do is adjust your attitude. Instead of getting down on yourself or others, try to embrace any challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn.
- Choose Optimism.
Once you’ve accepted that adversity happens, it’s time to choose optimism! Always remember than in your life, you have the power to decide how you react to situations. Each time you are faced with an obstacle is a new chance to choose positivity over negativity. Practice choosing optimism – the more you do it, the easier it becomes!
- Push Ahead.
Know that there are good days and bad days, always. When there are good days, enjoy them and be thankful. On the bad days, once you’ve adjusted your attitude and chosen to be optimistic, you just have to stick it out. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do, but if you can push through the bad times, eventually you’ll come out on the other side having overcome the obstacles.
- Have a Plan.
Even when you have good days, it’s important to plan ahead so that the next challenge doesn’t catch you off guard. Think about potential problems you could face and map out a realistic plan for how to deal with those problems. For example:
Potential Problem: Injury.
Plan: Meet with your coach to make sure that you are both aware of your prognosis and your recovery plan. Observe all practices and pay attention to new plays, drills and strategies. When the doctor allows, attend rehab and physical therapy to start getting back into shape.
Once you make this plan, you are prepared for the worst in case it actually happens. If it doesn’t happen, you are lucky and you can continue on knowing that you are prepared for anything.
The Mizzou Football Family, like any team, has faced both challenges and victories every single season. The 2014 season will be no different, but by using these four strategies for overcoming adversity, we can face any challenge head-on.