“Footballers learn to control the ball but they don’t necessarily learn to negotiate with themselves… Golfers learn to strike a ball but they don’t necessarily learn to negotiate with themselves… Tennis players learn to get across the court quickly but they don’t necessarily learn to negotiate with themselves… Basketball players learn to peel away into space but they don’t necessarily learn how to negotiate with themselves… Sports competitors in general learn the skills required to compete in their sport but they don’t necessarily learn how to negotiate with themselves… …so they don’t necessarily become great competitors despite their technical and physical skills. Because the ability to negotiate with yourself…to talk back to (and talk through) the unhelpful and sometimes destructive thoughts and emotions that you experience is vital in the ever changing competitive sporting landscape. To negotiate with yourself…to brainstorm solutions. To negotiate with yourself…to make that last lung busting run. To negotiate with yourself…to be accepting of the current situation…to be patient…to get up earlier…to rest more…to try harder…to try less. Competitive sport is as much about the skill of negotiating with self as it is technical and physical skill.”
Only a sentence from me here, that the above pretty much sums up why my career has ended quickly.
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