An Amazing Testimony of Courage and Confidence

Posted: 12/05/2010 in Uncategorized

Just think about the physical capabilities of a soccer player. Speed, strength, endurance, multidirectional quickness, great acceleration and deceleration, are all attributes of a footballer. Now picture them doing all of that with only one leg. The physical disability would be impossible to overcome…right? WRONG! Watch the video below for an eye opening testimony on how courage and persistence can out-weigh physical capability.

Can’t you just here the world exclaiming, “WOW, those guys are amazing”?
At first glance you are amazed at the stability and balance of the players. Then it hits you that they are fast. Then you ask yourself, “How did they do that?” Well the answer is they spoke it. They told themselves they could. They told the world they could. And they did.
Many youth athletes see themselves as having physical disabilities. I am too slow, too short, too thin, too fat, too weak, etc. Often these perceptions influence young people to stop playing sports altogether. Others will stay in the sport and use their perceptions to keep themselves from ever experiencing peak performance.
Kids who stay in sports but have poor self images, or misperceptions of their capabilities will usually pound themselves with negative self-talk. That self-talk is responsible for the lack of results these student-athletes experience, not their physical capabilities. The right mental attitude will allow these players to train properly and improve their physical skills.
Take the Haitian soccer players from the video above. They actually had physical disabilities. They were all missing a limb. Yet the players have become very adept at playing the sport. Imagine yourself in the place of one of the athletes. An unbelievable tragedy affects your life. You lose your home, maybe family members, and you have lost a leg. Imagine the self pity you could go through, “I lost everything, and I will never have a normal life again”. The power of courage and confidence is incredible. The self-talk of these courageous players must be more like, “I will overcome this tragedy”, “missing a leg will not stop me”, “I will adapt”.
As a coach or a trainer it is imperative to help guide your players in the area of confidence, and positive self-talk. As a part of our program we have taught our young players to speak what you want, not what you don’t. We assign the players a buddy each week and those two are responsible for monitoring each other, and their words. For example; the team is at bat. The opposing pitcher seems to be unhittable. Our team speaks “I hit the ball hard to the gaps where nobody is.” If a player hears his buddy say, or thinks his buddy is thinking, “I can’t hit this guy” they are to help their buddy get back on track with the words. We change buddies each week to give every player a chance to work with every other player.
As simple as that sounds it is incredibly powerful. This concept does not take much time to teach or monitor. It puts the players in a position of accountability. It allows you to do less talking, and more guiding. When your team speaks what it wants it will have greater success, and feel accomplished even when losing in competition.

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