USAV - USA Volleyball

02/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/08/2018 13:20

The Mental Aspect of Sport

Our team was terrible (ended up 3-23) the foreigners and the local players fought all the time. No one wanted to train hard and improve. The weather was constantly grey and rainy. I had no friends, my long-term girlfriend and I had just broken up. I was alone, frustrated, angry and ready to quit.

I was ready to quit because everything outside of me was falling apart and so on the inside, I gave in as well. Finally, the day came, I had had enough. I called my agent and told him I wanted out, either he finds me another team or that I would just leave and come back to California.

I went to bed, frustrated, angry and disheartened. I felt I had gave so much to this season but nothing was being returned. I woke up the next day and it was black and white, either I was quitting or I would stick it out. I realized right away that I wasn't a quitter nor would I begin to be. I accepted everything out of my control (constant losing, teammates, weather, loneliness, angry coach and lack of quality facilities) and realized that they were just that, out of my control. Why pay any attention to them, they weren't going to change nor would they with any amount of my frustration towards them.

Instead I looked at myself in the mirror, then I looked even deeper. What can I be doing better? Am I showing up every day to training with the best attitude possible? When something happens that I don't agree with, do I let these actions effect my attitude and my professionalism? Can I work even harder and closer to my values and priorities?

At the time, I had a weekly list of values I could commit to that would help me grow on the court and help push myself physically and mentally off the court. At the time, I was completing it 50-60% on the list. After the meltdown I committed to finishing everything on the list for 2 weeks straight, taking back the power that I had control over. After the 2 weeks ended, I decided to push even more, relentlessly working the best I could on and off the court in line with my values as an athlete and person. The team didn't change, the coach and players didn't change, but because of hitting rock bottom, I decided there was nowhere to go but up and I would dig myself out. No more reliance on anyone else but my own determination, it was up to me.

It was a complete 180 flip. Every day was amazing, I woke up with purpose and immediately got to work, excited to build myself to become a better version each and every day. (Even though the team won 2/13 game in the 2nd half) I was living the 'best day ever' and it was because I stopped making excuses, explanations and finding scapegoats. I took back the control and power over my life and finished the season strong, laying the foundation to how I still work today.