Are you an athlete or a parent of an athlete and ever thought – “if I could do that again – that play, that game, that season, that career - knowing what I know now, I would be so successful!” I’ll admit, I have absolutely found myself in that unproductive mindset. But I challenge each of you (and myself) to think about the idea of that phrase differently… The truth is, we all have the ability to “know what we know now” and use it to our advantage to enable success! Let’s take football as an example – whether you made a terrible play, had a bad game, had a bad season, had an unproductive offseason, or even had a bad high school or football career – it is your obligation to yourself and others to learn from it and improve because of it. Too often we get into a negative mindset that is dominated by thoughts of the past and “what we could have done differently.” In order to be successful we must quickly learn from the past and think about and identify how we will take those learnings to be better today and tomorrow!
If you are aboard the never-ending carousel ride of
make a mistake – dwell on the mistake – wish you didn’t make the mistake – feel sorry for yourself because of the mistake – make a mistake then hop off immediately! The future is not promised. The past happened, so why not use the incredible learning from your past and make adjustments and changes for your
present. Seems simple, doesn’t it? Then do it! There are probably some readers saying, well this really doesn’t help me because my athletic career has been over…how does this help me? Trust me, I am in your shoes and know that feeling firsthand unfortunately. As I think about my athletic career I absolutely have things that I wish I could have done different.I have two options, feel sorry for myself or do something positive with the important learning that I accumulated.
First, I strive to take lessons that I learned and apply them to my everyday life. Believe it or not, you can easily apply lessons learned from playing sports to all aspects of your life. Secondly, I choose to ‘pay it forward.’ I routinely speak to young athletes who are looking to reach their next level. I feel that it is my responsibility to share lessons that I have learned and provide guidance for how to approach their daily journey towards their goals. The above notion of taking the learning from your past can and should be applied to all aspects of your life. What good does dwelling on a past mistake or action – absolutely none. Use every lesson, positive and negative, as a way to positively impact your
present, which will help set you up for a successful future. Written By: Eric Blumenthal