Dear Young Female Athlete,
I feel for you.
The world is flooded with distractions. Instagram. SnapChat. Homework. Sports. Practices. Instagram. Tournaments. Games. ID camps. Grades. Instagram.
It is overwhelming, I know.
Being immersed in the digital times has its way of sidetracking us from our dreams.
Our dreams to start for our high school team. Our dreams to win a state title. Our dreams to play in college. Our dreams to go professional.
And sometimes, it’s easier to scroll Instagram, than it is to practice sports skills at home.
Sometimes, it’s easier to hang out with your drama-filled friend group, than go explore new friend groups.
Sometimes, it’s easier to talk to yourselves negatively, than positively.
Sometimes, it’s easier to compare yourselves to your friends going Division 1, than it is to commend yourselves for going Division 3 at an amazing school.
I get you’re distracted and caught in a daily battle of comparing yourself to others. I mean, how can you not?
You see your friends splashing their college signing day photos on your Instagram feed.
You see your friends accumulating more photo likes than you.
You see your boyfriends ignoring you when they’re clearly active on Instagram.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh. ‘Why is life so stressful?’ you wonder.
Young female athlete, I feel your pain.
And I know others, especially older folks, won’t understand your traumas. But I do.
They’re all valid.
It’s hard to stay focused on you dreams and rise above the noise.
But you know what? You got this.
If you want to get to the next level, whether this is earning a starting spot, contributing more to your club team, winning a national title, or getting recruited for college, you need to opt for things and people that breathe life into you.
I’ll take a wild guess that hanging out with a toxic friend who talks behind your back doesn’t do it for you.
I’ll take a wild guess that browsing Yoga Girl Hawaii’s Instagram doesn’t do it for you.
I’ll take a wild guess that talking shit on your friends doesn’t either.
I’ll take a wild guess that arguing about boys doesn’t either.
Young female athlete, your mental space is limited. Very, very limited.
You have the stressors of school, practice and games to deal with already.
What are you filling your precious mind with when you have a day to relax?
Let’s hope it’s something that boosts your confidence, empowers you, and inspires you.
And let’s hope it’s not something that makes you feel the urge to get jealous or to compare.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.”
I don’t care if your best friend is playing Division 1 and you’re going to a Division 3 program. Go be a four-year starter.
I don’t care if another girl has the exact same prom dress as you. Rock yours with confidence.
I don’t care if a teammate is starting over you. Put your head down and work harder.
What are you doing to do your best, handle adversity and stay in your own lane? That’s all that matters.
After all, when you fall under the comparison trap it stagnates you, disorients you, and diminishes your worth. Put simply, comparison makes you feel small.
On the flip side, when you stay in your own lane, you step back in your power and take control of your life. The opportunities, adventures, and pursuits are endless when you focus on yourself.
Yes, you’re capable of that, young female athlete. You’re capable to take charge of your athletic and personal life.
With that said, it’s time to do things that energize you and make you feel strong.
Playing a musical instrument.
Hanging out with a friend you can talk to about life.
Reading a book. (for female athletes, I highly recommend Warrior Goddess Training)
Going for a walk.
Shooting the soccer ball in your front yard.
Lifting weights with another strong girlfriend.
Climbing a tree.
Listening to a friend.
Helping a friend.
Drinking an iced coffee under the sun.
Yeah. Do more of the things that empower you and others.
A fellow female athlete