Underneath The Uniform
We all love sports and the excitement it brings into our lives. Sports give us something to look forward to. Sports motivate us, give us something to talk about, connect with others, and the list goes on and on. No matter what you play, you are representing a team. Some teams wear uniforms while others wear something that signifies who you are playing for, but what is under that uniform? A unique individual willing to sacrifice a lot of time, effort, and responsibility. An individual who is willing to put everything on the line and still not be good enough. An individual who is going to face adversity in front of hundreds of people and who is expected to remain composed. An individual who has the potential to fail and be at his/her most vulnerable moment in front of others. An individual who has to fulfill a tremendous amount of expectations regardless of what they play. Sports usually bring out the best, but sometimes the worst, during competition. Being an athlete and coaching athletes is not easy.
What we all forget, there is a person underneath that uniform. We need to focus on that person. We want that person to be the best version of himself/herself. These athletes must train themselves to make the best decisions in the most adverse times. Not all athletes are good people, but all good people are good athletes. We need these good people because they will carry on learned lessons from competition to the real world. We must focus on ourselves and training our minds to be the best.
As Coach Macaslin wrote earlier “Control the Controllables.” When our athletes are able to consistently do this, they will be a better player and more importantly, a better person. As we all know, doing this takes a lot of practice and skill. It is a shift in mindset. All my teams use a simple reminder to be able to do this: E + R = O. Events + Response = Outcome. Events are the uncontrollables. Events are the things that happen daily. This could be related to sports or our daily lives. We cannot control these events. What we can control is our response, therefore consequentially affecting the outcome. Controlling our response is a mindset shift. We cannot respond with a BCD attitude (blame, complain, defend). If you find yourself responding this way, you must change because the outcome will not be positive. Control your response-events happen to everyone.
Become the best version of yourself. Become a better person. Control your response regardless of the situation. Be YOU! And for all those watching our young athletes, remember what is underneath that uniform. A person giving his/her best that must face adversity and fail in front of many spectators. Respect what is underneath that uniform and find a way to help this young person learn and grow for the future. Win and losses will come and go, but this person’s impact will last forever. E + R = O
Shenandoah Middle School
Varsity Girls Basketball Coach