Sunday, October 24, 2010

Your Story: "Stand Out, Be Different"

It's been amazing how many stories I've read these last couple of weeks. What's Your Story? Inspirational? Motivational? Brutal? Are you still struggling to figure it out? We'd love to hear about your path... past, current, or future.

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This next story is raw and real. It came to me anonymously, and is emotional and painful. By the end, something changed. Something was revealed to him/her, simply by putting it down in words.


I've been reading Coach Your Mind for a year now, but have never replied to any of your posts - until now. I'm a freshman in college, receiving a full athletic scholarship to a school pretty far away from home. I have been the best in my sport for the last three years, and have gotten used to a lot of attention for my abilities. 


I'm a freshman. A lonely, away from home freshman trying to prove my worth. I may be trying too hard to prove how good I am, because I now suck! Where did all my talent go? Where is all my success? I read a post you wrote about 1%, and it got me thinking: I've never had the 1% mindset. I've never even thought about being 1%, to be honest. I've only been taught to be better than everyone (whatever the hell that means). My physical game is great, but I'm obviously missing something in between my ears. Could this be the 1% mindset? Am I willing to sacrifice what it takes to become this 1%? 

Everyone I asked (including my private coach) told me that drinking is normal in college, and won't hurt me much. I'm beginning to believe that it doesn't HAVE to be normal, and it DOES hurt me - a lot. I'm starting to think that if I stopped drinking, especially if everyone else didn't, I'd instantly become the 1% you speak of. At the very least, I'd get much closer to reaching that level. By definition, if I'm doing what the majority is not, I'm 1%. Correct?

I want to turn pro after college, but the decisions I've made so far are going to keep me from that goal! I think until now, I've wanted everyone to like me. I haven't wanted people to think I'm better than them, but maybe I just have to "not care" about what they think anymore. Professional athletics is my goal, my dream, and my passion. If I keep caring about what they say and think, I won't make it. This is going to be really hard, isn't it? To separate myself from the rest of the average dudes, it may be lonely, won't it?

No one on my team understands the importance of total commitment and dedication, which makes it so much harder for me to want to stand out. It's too easy to be just like everyone else. Actually, being different then the rest makes me feel stupid and abnormal. They're going to make fun of me if I don't drink or party as much as them. I know, I know: I shouldn't care about what they think. I want, so badly, to be great but I don't think I understood what it really takes. 

It hit me like a ton of bricks today that in order for me to be a professional athlete, I must make a decision to be different. Wow, that statement is totally opposite of everything I've been taught to date. I've always been told to follow the great ones, because they obviously know what works. In the last few months, it's obvious they don't all know what works best. If they did, my team wouldn't drink and do the stupid things they do that kills their game. Even the best player on the team is an idiot, but I'm realizing that he could be a professional right now if he dedicated to be different - to be that 1%.

As I'm writing my story to you, I'm changing. Seriously, Dayne. I started this 20 minutes ago, wanting to whine and complain about how bad I'm playing, but now that I'm almost finished, I want to rededicate myself to my sport. I want to blow everyone away with my new attitude and willingness to stand out and be different. I can't believe how writing this down and asking questions changed my thinking, not only about my current place, but my future too. 

Thank you for what you do. This "my story" thing has helped me more than you know. I'll get back to you and let you know how I'm doing. Until then, different is my goal!


Future professional athlete


Rettakat said...

I once saw a tv show hosted by Sylvester Stallone called The Contender. I was struck by something he asked the boxers one day:

Who will have the heart?
Who will have the courage?
Who will dare to be great?

The person who wrote today's story has answered those questions with a resounding "me"!


Bendigo said...

It's always great when somebody has that "lightbulb" moment. Future Pro definitely had a light come on...Great post!

Dayne Gingrich said...

I can't wait to hear back and see how things are going.