It takes a lot to make me emotional. I used to think something was wrong with me because I COULD NEVER CRY! *except for that one time my sisters and I thought we were in the movie Fast and Furious and I FLEW out of my little red wagon going at least 20mph*
But then, my student’s mom posted this on her Facebook page:
Let me give you some background…
This isn’t just any one of my students.
This is Addyson. Addyson is one of my youngest and one of my BIGGEST challenges as a coach. Fair and square, she’s made me look at coaching in a whole different light. Of course we spend time on developing her mechanics, but what we work on most together is mental toughness.
I have never seen an athlete (at any age) be so hard on herself…and she’s only 9 years old. Sports are stressful. I get it. Addyson practices around 12 year olds all of the time, and I know she just wishes she could be as good as them. As athletes, when we see someone who’s better than us at something, a lot of times jealousy is the first thing to come to mind. I’m still a victim of it sometimes, too!
I have no doubt Addyson will be even better than those other girls when she reaches that age, but I don’t think she realizes SHE’S ONLY 9! She essentially just started swinging the bat, and I’m pretty certain that when Barry Bonds picked up a bat for the first time HE WASN’T VERY GOOD! It took him YEARS to become one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
Addyson expects herself to be THAT GOOD when she simply hasn’t had enough TIME IN HER LIFE to have put in as many reps as those bigger girls yet!
Growth is an ongoing PROCESS.
I think too many of us try to compare ourselves to other people rather than using another person’s success to motivate us to work just as hard (if not harder) than they do. We need to quit comparing our beginning, with THEIR middle (I’m totally stealing that line from my girl Rachel Hollis who wrote Girl, Wash Your Face). If we keep comparing ourselves to others, we are constantly feeding our minds: “we are not enough”. And I’ve listened to enough educators to know we are a product of what we think, so if we are thinking “we aren’t good enough” we will soon believe it, and use it as an excuse to give up.
My good friend and mentor whom I coach alongside The Packaged Deal with, Morgan Stuart, recently launched a brand focused on mental health for athletes called “Defense Club“. Let me tell you, it is about to move mountains for any athlete in sport.
Male or female.
Individual or team sport.
Young or old.
Morgan’s program is all about getting past mental hurdles to pursue the great athlete you are meant to become. Too many athletes (myself included) see ourselves as “unworthy” at times of defeat, pain, or struggle. Too many athletes don’t see a clear end in sight and get stuck believing we aren’t capable of being successful. It’s not wrong to think these things. It’s not wrong to have ever doubted yourself. But, I firmly believe too many athletes (especially now that social media is prevalent) find themselves anxious to be like somebody else and jealous of what they “perceive” someone is like from the outside looking in. They want to “be like them” so badly that they forget who they are along the way.
Defense Club is meant to help you stop believing the lies you tell yourself as an athlete.
I got emotional after I read this post by Addyson’s mom. After a week of writing up emails, going through finances *bleh*, and prepping for a video shoot I have this weekend, this post was exactly what I needed to remind myself that this is what I’ve dreamt of myself doing;
empowering athletes through the sport of softball.
It’s so easy to get distracted of your mission in life or in sport. I’m so glad this ray of sunshine walked into my life because I wouldn’t be the coach I am today without her continually challenging me (in the best way) every week. Showing girls that they are STRONG, that they are POWERFUL and that THEY MATTER is my mission, and I will not stop until every girl I meet feels this way about themselves.
Visit ashleybtraining.com to learn a little more about my mission, and how it came to be!