Many times a coach will give a speech to the team before the game or athletes will receive inspiration from a loved one to play their best. A baseball coach once made the statement that hitting is about 90% mental. I remember a story my high school baseball coach told our team the day before a tournament. He gave a talk to the team about a golfer that was sick. He would lay in his bed dreaming about playing golf. In his dreams he would always see himself hitting the perfect shot. This went on for several weeks as he played rounds of golf in his head. When he got over his sickness several weeks later, he was able to go out to the golf course and shoot his best round of golf ever.
Many great Athletes practice in their minds before they compete in their sport. In baseball, a hitter might visualize the pitcher leaning, starting his wind up, rocking back and seeing his arm whip over his head. They might see the seams of the ball. It is bigger than usual and they stride into the pitch. The bat comes around and they swing through the ball. Then they feel the ball hitting the sweet part of the bat and how the ball jumps off the bat. The lesson to remember is that your mind has to see it and believe it before it will achieve it.
We all can think of similar ideas that can help us achieve our dreams. The last high school game I played in football, I remember being inspired to do something great in honor of my Uncle who was sick in the hospital. Playing the safety position on defense, my responsibility was to watch what the quarterback was doing. If he handed off the ball, I would run up and help support my teammates to get the ball carrier down. If the quarterback dropped back to pass, I would be like the center fielder and once the ball was in the air, run to where it was going to either break up the pass or intercept it.
One play within the game, I can see it vivid even today. The quarterback dropped back to pass and ran to the right side. I watched the quarterback’s eyes to see which direction he was looking to pass the ball to get a good jump on the direction of his pass. His arm went back and he came forward with the long pass to his wide receiver.
Immediately, I remembered what inspired me as I was preparing mentally for the game. I thought, this is my opportunity to make good on honoring my Uncle so as the ball was in the air, I sprinted in the direction of the pass and before it got to the receiver on the opposing team, I jumped and reached up to grab the ball high in the air to intercept the pass.
As you prepare for each day, is there something that inspires you to maximize your potential? When the opportunity arises, this inspiration might help you get a jump on grabbing what is thrown your way.
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