Dear Warrior - How Will You Overcome?

 

Dear Warrior, 

This week we caught up with the University of Nebraska at Omaha softball player, Allie Helton. Before transferring to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Allie spent two years at Lake Land College in Illinois where she led her team to two national tournament appearances. Though making the jump from a small school to a large D1 institution can be intimidating, Allie emphasized the importance of never comparing your own story to the story of others. 

“Don’t get frustrated if you’re the last to get recruited or if you decide to go to JUCO and someone else is going D1 because of none of that matters. You have to find a place where you’re happy.”  

But how did Allie handle the pressure of competing for a starting position and trying to prove herself on the field? How did she refocus after an error or strike out?  Allie attributes her confidence in pressure situations to a simple phrase - “Clean Slate”.  

Imagine all the happenings of a game or practice written out in detail on a canvas in your mind. Every time a new play develops, a run is scored, an error is made, or something significant happens in the game, the canvas is filled with more information (mostly your feelings towards your performance in that particular game or practice).

After a while, this canvas inside your brain gets cluttered with information and feelings from the past that makes it difficult to focus on the new task in front of you. This is why Allie found it so important to clean the slate between each at-bat and play in the field.

By cleaning the slate in her mind, Allie was allowing herself to move past previous performances and the emotions tied to them. Just as a clean canvas serves as a fresh start for an artist, a clear mind allowed Allie to focus on the present moment rather than dwelling on the past. In order to clean the slate in her mind and reset for the next play, Allie used the mental skill of routines.

Skill #6 - Routines

Routines give us a sense of comfort because of the physical actions our bodies can follow without thinking. When routines become a habit, they can help to keep us steady even when our circumstances are unexpected or uncontrollable. Allie developed a routine that she did every time she needed to clean the slate in her mind. 

“The big thing for me is having a clean slate. When I make an error, I turn around, look in the outfield, and kick a little dirt...I take a deep breath and that’s my reset.” 

No matter how you perform in one particular moment, you’ll always be given an opportunity to try again. Make sure you’re ready when that opportunity comes! It does us no good to dwell on our past mistakes, Warrior. Learn from them and then clean the slate in your mind so that you are ready and focused on the next opportunity. 

Girl, you got this! 

Team Fearless, inspired by Allie Helton

A Colorado Springs native, Allie plays the infield for the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is pursuing a degree in multidisciplinary studies with the ultimate goal of becoming a Division 1 softball coach. When asked about her favorite part of softball, Allie described the joy she feels from growing stronger both athletically and personally alongside her teammates. 

“Don’t get frustrated if you’re the last to get recruited or if you decide to go to JUCO and someone else is going D1 because of none of that matters. You have to find a place where you’re happy.”  

 

 

 


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