How Youth Athletes Can Be Prepared for Adversity

How Youth Athletes Can Be Prepared for Adversity

There are two story lines happening now.

Admittedly, I feel like I’m living in a science fiction movie, and of course, it’s year 2020, so things are going to get fiction-like and downright weird.

For one, I see humans hiding behind their masks, as their droopy eyes stare at me in fear – not just any fear, but an odd, eerie fear that makes me feel the zombie apocalypse is coming.

I see humans afraid of one another, afraid to connect, afraid to go outside, afraid to hug, afraid of the Whole Foods produce section, afraid to pet each other’s dogs in the park, afraid to go to the playground, afraid to smile at one another.

Am I in the twilight zone?

Because yo, as much as the mainstream messaging splashes “new normal” across billboards, highway signs, news headlines and social media advertisements, this is NOT normal.

I repeat: this story line is not normal.

It is the twilight zone.

On the flip side, as much darkness and heaviness there is lurking, there is also a much brighter story line.

I see the awakened ones going about business as usual, from seeing friends, to working out, to playing tennis, to traveling, to creating art, to walking in the park, to riding their bikes, to breathing fresh air, to hugging their loved ones and experiencing the richness life has to offer.

My guess is, they threw out their television, or should I call it Tells Lies to Your Vision?

My other guess is, they’ve prepared their entire lives for a moment like this, and have confidence in their healing abilities, as well as their capacity to handle adversity.

These people can see through the toxic fear mongering, and they’re not allowing it to dictate their lives.

So which story line are you on?

Are you scared, or are you prepared?

I get you came to this blog to read about youth athletic development.

And guess what? What is happening in the world now has everything to do with youth athletic development.

Life is going to present many challenges, catastrophes, disasters and failures. Whether it’s being exposed to a virus, getting sick (totally normal for all of human evolution), losing a championship game, tearing a knee and being sidelined for a year, or missing a penalty kick in a tournament, you rarely make it out unscathed.

But how do you respond? How do you look at adversity without being phased?

Your story line is either out of fear or love as a young athlete.

Are you throwing on a flimsy cloth and hiding inside, instead of taking care of your internal health, nourishment, and sleep?

Are your avoiding all social interactions, instead of embracing your friends, gathering, laughing and smiling?

Are you cracking under pressure when you play that number one ranked team?

Are you failing to prepare for the championship game because you think you’ll lose anyway?

Are you scared of tackles and 50-50 balls because you’ll get injured?

Are you reluctant to take on a defender one-versus-one out of fear of losing the ball?

Are you scared?


Are you drinking your bone broth, hydrating, walking, and getting sleep so you don’t get sick in critical condition?

Are you thriving under pressure and feel confident in your preparation to beat that number one ranked team?

Are you still giving your all in a game even when the odds are against you?

Are you going into tackles full force because you did your strength training and trust your body?

Are you going at a defender with tenacity because you put in the thousands of brush strokes of practicing your moves on your own time?

Are you prepared?

Just like this virus, if you run scared, do you truly become stronger, healthier, more resilient?

Just like getting ready to play a team ranked higher than you, if you run scared, do you become stronger, adaptable or more resilient?

Or do you over-prepare the best you can for both scenarios, control your controllables, and pour so much love into yourself as an athlete and human to be the most powerful and healthiest expression of you?

There’s a lot of fear right now, but that’s not the story line that you need to be on, as much as the news, the mainstream, your peers and everyone else is pushing you toward.

There's a lot of fear right now, but that's not the story line that you need to be on, as much as the news, the mainstream, your peers and everyone else is pushing you toward. Click To Tweet

They want you to feel helpless and weak, and they want you to rely on them.

You rely on you.

You’re the one who can prepare.

You’re the one who can become stronger.

You’re the one who can become healthier.

You’re the one who can become better amidst the chaos.

You’re the one who can continue to live life with exuberance because you are prepared, not scared.

How are you going to be on the right side of history in 2020?






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1 Comment
  • Shane MCLEAN
    Posted at 00:58h, 27 October Reply

    I’m ready to run through brick walls or deadlift a shit ton of weight after reading this. Great post coach

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