But What Do You Control?

Letters to My Future Competitor

Letters to my future competitor

Hey Competitor,

I know you’re upset about this weekend’s game because you didn’t get to play as much as you expected. I know how frustrating it can be when you work hard during practice and then aren’t given as many opportunities during the game to play.

I’ve been there too, and yes, it does suck. We have zero control over the coach or his decisions this week. We can’t control our opponent. And we definitely can’t control the rainy weather we spent the day standing in.

But there’s always three things in life that we control:

  • Our focus
  • Our attitude
  • Our actions

Every day we get to choose what we focus on – things within our control and things outside of our control. We grow stressed, anxious, and many times, frustrated when we concentrate on things outside of our control because no matter how hard we try, we can’t change them.

The strength of a Competitor lies in her ability to focus on the things within her control: what she focuses on, what attitude she chooses, and what actions she takes.

Our focus.

We can focus on what frustrated us about Saturday’s game or we can choose to focus on what we can work on this week before the next game.

We can focus on what we didn’t get to fully do in our last game or we can choose to focus on what happened when we got onto the field – what did we do well and where can we improve?

We can focus on how to be the best teammate and leader we can from the sidelines, and not just from the field.

Our strength lies in the fact that we get to choose what we focus on.

Our attitude.

We may be upset about our lack of playing time but it’s still on us to choose our attitude during that moment.

We can be upset and still choose to grit our teeth and smile through it.

We can be angry and still choose to look for the positives in the situation. And we can even be jealous of our teammates yet still choose to cheer hard for them knowing that as a team, we win together.

Most people you meet in life will use the excuse that something outside of their control is controlling their attitude.

  • It’s someone else’s fault I’m being mean to you.
  • It’s the weather that’s causing me to not do my job.
  • It’s your fault I’m this way.

For these people, it’s always someone else’s fault for the attitude they’ve chosen in the moment. In reality, they’ve chosen that attitude in that moment, no one’s made them have it. Yes, people do things that can irritate us or impact us – however, it’s still 100% on us what attitude we choose in the moment.

Our actions.

This may sound surprising but it’s not the disappointing situation that matters most – it’s how a Competitor responds to it.

It’s your actions in response to not getting the outcome you desired of playing more. And those are 100% up to you.

It’s up to you to choose to go talk to your coach about the previous game and what you can do this week in practice to increase your opportunities to play.

It’s up to you to choose to do the extra drill work to improve skills you’re currently behind on.

And it’s up to you not quit on your teammates or coaches – to keep competing hard and being a great teammate in the middle of getting your spot back on the field.

Whether you know it or not, other people are always watching you. Your teammates will see your actions – how you respond to this situation – and it will either inspire their confidence in you as a teammate or create concern. How do you want your teammates to feel about you?

Remember, the strength of a Competitor lies in her ability to focus on the things within her control.

So what if this week we don’t let the things outside of our control derail us from focusing on the things that are?

I thought you might agree, because after all, you’re a Competitor.

Last modified: June 9, 2019

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