It is just so darn easy to give up, isn’t it? All you have to do is say the magic words, ‘I quit’ and the pain associated with achieving a desired goal goes away. Or does it? I contend that the pain does not disappear, but gets replaced with regret, embarrassment, and ‘what if’. This is certainly not an example we want to teach kids. Playing football teaches kids to be resilient, it’s one of the many benefits of the sport. Here’s a list of 10 ways to sharpen/develop a never quit attitude in youth football athletes.
1. Choose a slogan to get you going. Make sure it’s blunt, in your face. YFO recently met NFL outside linebacker Sam Acho (@theSamAcho on twitter), he coined the phrase- ‘Let’s Freaking Go!’. It’s a mantra that has pushed him to achieve his dream to play in the NFL, and will now push him further in his contract year. Sam added “Don’t let a setback hold you back. Don’t let anything hold you back …” .
2. Identify and find support from a mentor. It could be a respected teammate, a coach, a parent. Find that person that will back you up and provide wisdom while keeping you on narrow track to reach your personal goals.
3. Workout harder. Complete your sets- perform your reps until failure. Each workout is a challenge to be overcome. Consistently strive to improve your workouts and do so with intensity. Increase your running stamina on your own time (we recommend jumping rope).
4. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Practice hard. It is the key to your success. Imagine that grit is the pathway comprised of stones that you step on to reach your achievable goal. Without grit, there is no method to get to where you need to go. Giving up won’t be an option.
5. Do extra. Do more than what is expected of you in practice. Make this a habit. It will prove to your coaches that you are committed to working hard and being prepared at game time.
“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” – Albert Einstein
6. Learn from past defeats. Recognize your weaknesses on the football field, work to improve upon them. Analyze your weaknesses. Write them down on paper in big letters, look for tendencies and areas of improvement. Practice this.
7. Let optimism lead the way. Believe that you’re the absolute best at what you do, whether it be at your position or with your schoolwork (even if you’re not quite there yet). Don’t let negative thoughts crowd your thoughts, a positive attitude will give rise to positive actions.
8. Dominate in school. Performing well in school means you take all the necessary steps to be successful. With this mental framework, thoughts of quitting dissipate or are not as apparent.
9. Envision success. See it. Go get it.
10. Do not procrastinate. When you wait until the last minute, you are practically defeated. Aim to get your assignments done ahead of time so you’re not overcome or overburdened with pessimism. Procrastination is a major piece of the quitting puzzle.
Not giving up is about repetition and consistency. Coaches, how do you preach resilience? Tell us in the comments below.