Dare to dream big together! Motivation.
This week I was thinking a lot about what gives me the fire to compete and to go after my goals. I began thinking about an experience a long time ago when I was a high school athlete playing field hockey and how it shaped my drive as an athlete. What happened to me is an example of why we need to raise our children to challenge themselves but also to support others in reaching towards success. There is no need in life to put others down or to belittle someone else’s dreams of reaching success. We all have different paths to success and we should all work our hardest to lift each other up. What happened to me and to my friend is something that occurs on a regular basis in schools on the sports field, locker rooms, classrooms and even in life as adults.
Every summer our school would invite prospective team members to field hockey camp for one week during the summer. Field hockey camp was a place to work on your skills on the field and to spend time practicing with the players who would hopefully be your teammates in the fall. We were all there to learn and practice the same skills and to learn to work cohesively with each other to be a successful team. While each player must master skills on their own it is the power of how the team works together on the field that will bring success on game day. Individual players while shining with their own skills will not find success if they cannot pass the ball and work plays together on the field.
Camp was going well I thought and I was excited about the upcoming season and trying out for the Varsity team. I had already been on JV for a year or two at this point and was hoping to move up. What happened next at camp made a lasting impression on me. We were having down time in our cabin, a break between practice sessions and were all hanging out together. I am not sure why it was said but in passing one of the older players in a conversation with me and a friend casually told us, “You will never have a chance to make the Varsity Team. You just aren’t good enough.” At that point I said nothing. I was extremely hurt but couldn’t respond. This comment was blunt and stung like a knife. I was working just as hard as the others and so was my friend. This comment was made at a time when no coaches were present and only one other older player was close enough within earshot. It was a comment that was meant to hurt and meant to break our confidence. It was a comment that was meant to belittle. I don’t think I spoke of this to anyone until I was much older but it did eat away at me. I chewed on what this girl had said and it made me feel uncomfortable on the field at practice because I did not feel supported as a team member. Why was this said?
In the short term this one small comment hurt me emotionally but in the long term what was said that day ignited a spark within me to prove that I was strong and that no one could control the outcome of my success. We live in a culture that sometimes promotes putting others down in order to gain personal success. It happens even as adults where comments can be made or actions that try to make others feel as though they are not good enough. This culture is spread through our generations if it is what we teach our children and if we allow this kind of negative intimidation to occur. We need to teach our children to compete and to challenge each other but also to cheer each other on. We will be stronger individuals if we work collectively to strengthen each other. As adults we need to support each others challenges but also each others dreams.
I never did make the Varsity team but I did play my heart out on the Junior Varsity Team that year. I could have let that comment from a senior varsity player break me down but instead it is something that I think about sometimes and then I realize that I can achieve what I set my mind to. Life may throw obstacles in the way but we should not let negative comments or actions be the determining factor to the outcome of our dreams.
Don’t let anyone else stand in the way of what you want. Negative comments directed at you may come from a place of insecurity. Instead challenge each other to work hard and to achieve your very best together. Share your motivation and dare to dream!
Have you ever been discouraged due to someone else’s negativity and unsupportive nature? How did you deal with that situation?
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