After experiencing one of the toughest field hockey seasons of my life three things have stood out to me about why I love the sport so much. Many people have asked me why it seems as if my life revolves around the sport especially when I am in season. It is always difficult for them to comprehend why I dedicate so much time to my sport. However, the three life lessons field hockey have taught me are:
1) The mind is a powerful weapon that can make or break you.
2) Participating in something that you are passionate about enables you to take a bullet for another teammate and spare them any pain.
3) Winning breeds tenacity and losing the right way builds character.
- You always need to have your head in the zone, if not you establish a 50% chance of failure
The first half of the game is primarily dependent on the amount of mental focus that a team possesses. Likewise, in life we cannot expect to achieve any of our endeavors if we do not know what they are. We need to set goals for ourselves and base our success on our ability to achieve them. The second half of a game is focused on finishing what you have started. You need to finish strong avoiding any “could-have”, “should-have” “would-have” emotions.
- Practice the way that you want to play in a game because you play like you practice
So often in our lives we fall into the routine of doing things in an “autopilot” mode. These bad habits can manifest themselves in our lives and hinder us from achieving our full potential. We need to stop procrastinating and using the excuse that we work best under pressure. I am guilty of this one trait because I have been able to get away with it for so long, but just because it works, does not mean it will sustain you in the long run. The spent energy that you use working under duress, could have been used in a more productive manner that is worthwhile.
- Practice makes perfect
We continuously practice drills to condition our mind and bodies to executing new techniques and maneuvers in the hope that we will get the opportunity to use them in a game. Instilling discipline in our lives is the same as practicing to perfect a technique. You teach yourself to learn good habits that will enable you to live a quality life as an adult. This enables us to build trust in ourselves to make the correct decision when life deals us with any curve balls.
- Do what you are passionate about
I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to do what you love. When we grow up and leave the nest we create a new identity for ourselves. We can only live a half-life for so long to please those that live around us. To avoid nasty rebellions against our loved ones we need to simply DO WHAT WE LOVE. We are the only ones that can live with our decision 24/7. It takes great courage to be yourself consistently and not hide into the roles other people create for us. If we don’t create our own identity sure enough someone else will.
- Winning or Losing
There is a right way and a wrong way to lose. Choosing to ignore your mistakes and not progress to a higher level is simply a tragedy. Making a conscious decision to grow from an upset can only lead to greater things ahead. No one likes to read of a one-hit-wonder story, we like to hear of the underdog story because we can relate to it and be inspired by it. There is a right and wrong way to win. Being proud and thinking that you are invincible and above fault is a recipe for destruction. If you cannot see yourself honestly your pride will lead to your downfall. Confidence not being cocky is the key. People always love a humble winner who embraces their victory but also looks forward to facing good competition.
Live well, Live right…play field hockey!