As an athlete, we always want to come out on top. Winning is ingrained in us.
But just like life, athletes have their ups and downs. I learned this in my softball career growing up and I’ve learned it through powerlifting in the last five years as well. As much as we’d LOVE to just continually make linear progress upward, that’s not how life works. You will have setbacks and go through seasons in your sport. Some seasons feel like you are unstoppable, while others feel like you have plateaued, or even regressed.
As athletes, we must embrace the times when our performance is not optimal. Maybe you have so much on your plate that your sport can’t be a priority, maybe your body is telling you to rest, maybe you have faced an injury, or maybe you’re dealing with mental battles that have you too distracted to be focused during your sport. Whatever the case, accept the fact that is it temporary because the downfalls prep you to win again down the road. And truth be told, you never fail so long as you learn along the way.
The struggle is what teaches us and allows us to grow. As much as I’d love to be a motivational speaker and tell you that you can just keep winning in life, the reality I have to share with you as a coach is that you are going to experience struggle. But within those dark times, you will find grit and perseverance to reach the light. One gives meaning to the other. The greater the setback, the greater the victory will feel on your journey to prove to yourself that you can overcome adversity. And through this, you learn to love the process.