The high school fall football season just wrapped up in Iowa, and my son’s team made it to the semi-finals, losing to the team that ended up winning the state championship. The team and their coaches did such a great job, and I want to congratulate them, not just for making it to the semi-finals, but for coping with so much uncertainty due to Covid-19.
Here are a couple of mental toughness lessons this team and their coaches taught me:
- The power of showing up. These athletes and their coaches never stopped bringing their all. Each practice could have been their last. Each game could have been their last. Even when they doubted the season’s length, they focused on each day, which helped them make it to the semi-finals.
- The power of adjusting our behavior. Team members and coaches adjusted as the environment around them changed. The “rules” as they pertain to mask-wearing and social-distancing changed often. While they may have expressed some concern and maybe even complained a bit, they tweaked their behavior to align with current health recommendations. This helped them to succeed despite C-19 challenges.
- The power of personal sacrifice. Everyone—teen athletes, coaches, administrators and family members—accepted that this season was going to be different. Coaches had to schedule practices outside of the regular times, team members could only gather in small groups, and friends & family had to watch games via Livestream. So many people put the greater, collective good above their convenience. The sacrifice paid off, and the season was not cut short due to C-19.
Experts warn that the next few months could be bleak, but let’s not give up hope entirely. When we start to feel down or defeated by C-19, let’s remember these mental toughness lessons and apply them.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is any way that I can help you build your mental toughness.
Take care and be safe.