I played soccer in high school, we were 4 time state champs and I believe I started 1 game in my entire varsity career. It was senior night. I was voted most “inspirational” player my senior year.
Freaking-A story of my life. Hard worker, pulling for others, but just not all that great. I suppose there are worse things to be known for.
Whether or not you like, love or despise soccer you need to check out and appreciate what is going on currently. The World Cup is like no other event on the planet. It simply stands alone. Take into account the following. Soccer is the only, truly universal sport out there that is not only played but widely embraced on ever continent. It has nearly no barriers to entry, kids are playing right now in Nigeria with a rag wad for a ball, no shoes and hardened dirt for a field.
Their is not other sport that can claim they get the very best from all over. The development pool makes our minor league baseball system look like a joke.
The guys I work with, most of them love this sport and current competition but never the less we’ve got those that don’t know it and because of that hate it. They call it all sorts of things and cannot wait to listen to sports radio and the upcoming breakdown of numerous NFL and college preseason practices. So do I, but right now I am enthralled by the World Cup.
So here is my take away for each of us. In this sport where they run up to 10+ miles in 90 minutes (not exactly sluffing it), sprint non stop time and time again, deliever the ball across the field, stop on a dime, have the fastest feet I have ever seen and simply do amazing things with their bodies in all modalities of the the athlete you still have to wonder how do they do it?
Genetics. Yes of course, every great athlete at the top of their sport is superb and they were voted MVP and not ever “most inspirational”. They have incredible speed, agility, coordination, power, incredibly high VO2 max and lactate thresholds. Their bodies recover amazingly fast, and they don’t wear pads.
But how do you get to the very top of your individual game? You challenge yourself every single day to get better. You make that your focus and you push through the discomfort, the pain and the fear. You accept nothing less than greatness and the next step to doing so. Your drive is incomparable and you attention to the details like no other. Bottom line, you get up each and everyday and you don’t go back to bed until you have improved what you do.
Secondly, you never accept the plateaus or barriers. People who think they have reached their potential or their mark probably have. Those who refuse that idea suspend reality and push forward, inspiring awe in us as we tune in by the millions to watch them.
We are all athletes and if you are reading this blog, you are probably more than a run of the mill athlete. So my challenge to you today is simply this; what are you going to do today to push the needle? What barrier or ceiling have you been stuck on way too long and feel it is time to abandon fear and push your head against it till you crush it or explode spectacularly in the process.
There is no shame in that.
Try it one day, see if you got it in you and live like a champion. You only have to do it once and you might amaze and inspire yourself.