Into the Unknown
This post came to mind when a friend text me and said he was “getting in his head” about playing at Master’s Nationals next weekend. When I asked him what was specifically going on in his head, he said he was worried about playing with new people he didn’t know and that he won’t be good enough.
I’m guessing there’s a lot of us out there in a similar position: worried about the unknown.
For all of you out there who are facing some ‘unknowns’ this upcoming weekend at Master’s Nationals – or for anyone who has ever, or will ever, head into a situation where things are unknown – this one’s for you.
Maybe it’s that we have never played with this team before and we don’t know if we’ll have fun or how we will fit in or whether we’re good enough. Maybe it’s that we haven’t played at this high of a level before, or if we have it has been a while. Maybe tiny humans or a new job or school demands have prevented us from training as rigorously and seriously as we are used to.
…and we don’t know how any of these things are going to play out over the weekend.
Here’s the thing:
Playing with new people might be awkward/scary/no fun OR it could be comfortable/awesome/super fun. You won't know ‘til you get there.
As for your skill, you might not be 'good enough' or you might be totally good enough/top of roster. You won't know ‘til you get there.
The same goes for any other unknown element on your mind: you won’t know ‘til you get there.
You don't know whether those things will slide your way you way or not, but what you can make slide your way is your mind. You can control whether your mind is helping you or hurting you, how you prepare and how you show up physically, mentally and emotionally on Friday.
TODAY’S JOURNAL WORK:
To propel your mind down a helpful path, write out a list of all of your strengths:
*Physical strengths (speed, height, quickness, throws, etc),
*Mental/emotional strengths (field sense, composure, fire, etc)
*Interpersonal strengths (friendly, peacemaker, good communicator, etc).
It might feel uncomfortable or challenging to list out your own strengths. This is likely because we are often taught not to ‘toot our own horn’ or to ‘be humble.’ So let me be clear: I’m not saying to create a list of your strengths and then post it to Facebook or print it on a t-shirt. I’m just asking you to take inventory for your own self-awareness. If you’re still having a hard time, I highly suggest talking to someone who knows you well and asking for their input.
This is the list of things you bring with you no matter where you go or who you play with. It can even be helpful for non-Ultimate situations.
Being deliberate about knowing your strengths and keeping them top of mind can help you be yourself and play to your potential - that's all you can control and all you can ask for.
Best of luck to everyone headed to Master’s Nationals (see you there!), Heavyweights, and any other tournament this weekend!
Hi! I'm Piers. I am an Ultimate player, spouse, parent, and human performance coach. My passion and my profession is to help individuals and teams perform at their best through research-based mental skills, resilience, leadership and team dynamics training.
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