Tonight I had a bad row; I was frustrated, a bit angry, and I couldn’t get my focus and relaxation back. Part of it was my problem, part of it was things I couldn’t control. Getting off the water it was still heavy on my mind that I had a bad time out, but as I was leaving the boathouse, my coach told me “don’t get so frustrated, it’s going to be ok”, and I relaxed.
I truly believe that you need to have a bad practice, bad row, bad game, bad day, every once in awhile because it brings you back down to a place where you can fight back from. When you’re doing well, you’re executing, you’re nailing (almost) every stroke, you feel pretty good about yourself. When you have this moment, hour, day, whatever it is, when nothing is going your way, it gives you the fire to keep going, to push harder, to be better.
Driving home, I was thinking back to all the bad practices I’ve had in my life, all the bad games that I’ve played through, and how I’ve battled back from all of them.
It’s OK to get frustrated in the moment.
It’s fine to be emotional and not be happy.
You can clench your fists and scream and be angry for a moment.
But you have to remember that it’s temporary, that you’ll get through it, and you’ll be stronger for it.
Recognize the things that you need to improve on, the things that aren’t working out, and mentally cache those away to a place where you’re able to remember them for next time. If your glove side was weak one practice, keep it in mind for next time out; really focus every single shot on making sure that all the little things are getting done right. If you had a lot of bad strokes and the boat wasn’t set, think about the micro adjustments, not the macro adjustments, and relax as you’re heading up to the catch.
I often forget that it’s not just about me, that I’m just a cog in the wheel, that it’ll get better. I need to remember to get out of my head, not over think things, and breathe, in all situations.
I’m writing this to remind myself that one bad practice does not define me as an athlete, as a person, as a teammate, and as a friend.
What defines me is how I rise to the challenge; and believe me, I’m going to rise.