Have you ever heard that quote? I’m sure you have, but have you ever really thought about what that quote is saying? For some reason it took me a long time to truly figure it out. Let me walk you through my journey with this little quote.
Rewind to 2006, I’m a freshman at Michigan State University. Welcome week just got over and classes and wrestling practice were now in full swing.
Welcome week for most students is a really fun time. Sometimes too much fun. For me it was quite the opposite.
In one week I had a close friend back home pass away from a heart attack, a relative face some very bad circumstances and I tore every ligament in my ankle at wrestling practice. Oh yeah and one more thing. I was transferred out of dorm where the athletes lived to all the way across campus. I’m talking a 40 minute walk! That was all in a 2 day span.
To add to that I was just getting started with college. New people, way tougher classes, new coaches, new teammates, and way more on my plate than I expected. My head was spinning with all of the new things I had to learn.
I wanted to cry. Everything piled on so quick and all that I wanted to do was fix everything.
The next day I walked out of wrestling practice with my head hung pretty low. As I was limping out, my wrestling coach stopped me and told me to wait up for him. In my head I thought “great now I probably did something else wrong.”
He just wanted to talk to me to see how I liked college so far. I let loose and vented everything to him right there. His response made me pretty mad. He just turned and looked at me and said “control what you can control.” I honestly thought ugh thanks? I had no idea what he meant. I thought he was just looking to get the hell out of that conversation.
Fast track to my senior year 2011.
5 years went by and I kept that quote in head. I tried everything and finally figured out what he was talking about!
I cannot control a lot of things in life, nobody can. But there are a lot of things in life that I can control.
I had the control of:
- who I surrounded myself with
- how much I studied
- what time I went to bed
- my nutrition
- my work ethic
- my lifting
- my approach to every practice
- my conditioning
- my attitude after a win OR a loss
I did not have control of:
- how many exams I had
- who I had to wrestle
- the referees of my matches
- how many practices I had
- how expensive tuition was
- how hard exams were
- whether I won or lost
Once I really let go of the uncontrollable items my confidence skyrocketed. I no longer lost sleep of who I had to wrestle the next day or upcoming week. All that I could do is do everything possible to prepare for the match, exam or the tough practices that I was inevitably going to have. I truly learned to control what I could control which was my preparation and work ethic.
You’re probably thinking right now. Why is he telling me this?
I’m telling you this because I want youth school athletes to learn this lesson now. You would not believe how many conversations I have with parents of athletes that I work with where they tell me all of the obstacles their kid have.
My kid has to go to batting practice, he has to go to this showcase tournament or he will never make the high school team, he has to be here for this, be here for that…. you get my point. It’s insane how much kids have to do these days.
My message to you high school athletes is not take everything too seriously. Don’t worry about not making the team 5 months from now, don’t worry about how tough your opponent is. He is ranked in the nation, she is being scouted by pro teams…. who cares!!!!!!!!! You can’t control that so forget about it.
You can’t control how many practices your going to have, You can’t control how tough your coach or parent is on you. You can’t control how hard your AP classes are. You are going to have wins and your going to have losses, that is out of your control homie.
You CAN control how you prepare.
There is going to be a time in the near future where you are going to lose to another opponent. Yeah, I’m talking to you superman! Don’t let that loss control you. Control the loss by learning what you did wrong and how to fix it.
Be a kid and have fun with your young athletic career. Learn to embrace hard work and preparation. Learn to control what you can control and everything will happen the way it should.
Remember, you are in control of the following:
- Your attitude
- Who you surround yourself with
- How much you study
- Your nutrition
- How much sleep you get
- Your work ethic
- Pushing yourself at your workouts (hopefully at Xceleration!)
- Your conditioning
CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Come to Xceleration today and find out how you can push yourself past limits you never thought possible.
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