When the Chips Don't Fall in Your Favor
Did you catch our Dear Warrior Feature video this week?
We caught up with West Chester University outfielder, Caroline Adams. When the chips didn’t fall in her favor, Caroline had to make the decision of how she would respond.
She put mental skill #2, Your Identity and mental skill #3, Your Why into practice to help her respond to this setback in a way that would ultimately empower her to be the spark plug of her softball team and a well-known leader among her West Chester athletic community.
Skill #2 - Your Identity
“I’m not the starter or the all-American. But why would that make me any less of an important part of the team?”
At first, Caroline was devastated to be losing playing time and opportunities to show the coaching staff her skills. She describes feeling like the world was ending and that she no longer had a place on the team if she was not making an impact on the dirt.
That all changed when her team captain encouraged Caroline to write down the special things that she brought to the team that nobody else could. For example, Caroline is always the loudest athlete to be cheering in the dugout and she always pushes her teammates in the weight room. Without her passion and relentless work ethic, the team would not have a spark plug to keep them fired up in those grueling morning workouts or keep them focused in the dugout.
Caroline realized that the truly irreplaceable traits she brought to her team had nothing to do with what she did, but everything to do with who she was as a teammate and as a person. The same is true for you, Warrior. Softball is a game that you play, but your performance on the field has nothing to do with who you are. The game can be fickle - one day you may go 3-3, and the next weekend you may find yourself on the bench after a poor outing. But none of these lows hold the power to take away the things that truly make you special. Who you are, your identity, is something that you carry inside of you. Your identity cannot be shaken by your circumstances.
What are those special things that make you worth it? Write them down and call them to mind on the days when your performance has you questioning your worth. Like Caroline, you’ll find that you hold to power to change the game and influence others by simply owning who you are.
Skill #3 - Your Why
Let’s be real, the mundane day to day practices and reps that we put into softball aren’t always exciting. Caroline told us that sometimes there are days when softball isn’t fun for her either, especially when it didn’t seem like her hard work was paying off. But she emphasized that finding her why every day helped keep her motivated and engaged even on the hardest and most discouraging days.
For Caroline, her why behind all her hard work and dedication is that she considers her team to be her family. They always have her back, so she is determined to have theirs. When she gets frustrated and starts to lost motivation, Caroline looks to her teammates and is reminded of the reason she loves being a part of the West Chester Softball Program. Her why helps her focus back in and stay on track with being the best teammate and softball player she can be.
Your Why behind what you do will make your actions more impactful. Don’t just go through the motions, find your Why and remind yourself of it when you start feeling discouraged.
Girl, you got this!
Team Fearless, inspired by Caroline Adams
About Caroline Adams
Caroline graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in history from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and will be returning in the fall to pursue her Master's degree and take advantage of her fifth year of eligibility granted to her as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She considers her teammates to be the greatest part about being a student-athlete and is eager to stay active in the athletic community after graduation.
"Why is your team better because of you? Everybody has a reason."