By Cassie Reilly-Boccia
Our current situation can be viewed as a disappointing one, especially when we think of the spring and summer sport seasons being impacted. It is important to view this time as an opportunity to entrench ourselves in the process in order to experience true growth. Every single one of us has the option to improve during this time. Remember, we never stay exactly the same from day to day, we can either accept defeat and retreat backwards or make the decision to advance and progress into better people both athletically and mentally. Below are three solid ways to view the cards we all have been dealt:
Appreciation: Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can have long-lasting effects. There is a famous saying that states, “If a man in the desert only has a single grain of rice to eat, but is grateful for that grain, then he will be happy.” We all need a perspective check in our life to remind us of the things we can be thankful for. In fact, there are several studies that discuss a daily habit of writing down three things someone is grateful for can rewire their brain and outlook on life for the better. The scenario we all find ourselves in is a tremendous opportunity to rekindle the gratitude light within you.
Self-Management: Motivation and awareness are key components to growing and maturing throughout life. Thankfully, athletics typically encourages athletes to develop self-motivation tactics as well as establish a heightened awareness of their body and mind. If anything, this time more than ever is a chance to finetune these tools within us. Currently, with gyms being closed, it is difficult to find the right equipment or resources to train and workout with. Make no mistake, working out at home and on your own is not an easy task. Even coaches and trainers alike understand the difficulties of self-motivation throughout the day. The important thing is to feel proud of yourself once you do make a payment to developing yourself further. Did you get your workout in on a rainy day when you didn’t feel like it? Complete an extra rep or set of a tough exercise? Were you able to correct your own form as you began to feel fatigue set in? These are all big wins! Be proud when you accomplish them! Self awareness and management will also be instrumental to an athlete wanting to play their sport at the next level. Whether that is a college athlete seeking a pro career, a high school athlete who is hopeful for a future in college athletics, or a young athlete attempting to tryout for a more competitive team, every
stage will require more self-regulation tactics. As an athlete, it is their job to take care of their body and make sure it is prepared for their sport. An athlete who is able to learn how to take ownership of their life regardless of the ease or difficulty of the surroundings will develop habits and techniques that will last them the rest of their life.
Finding peace within yourself: This final point will call upon valuable stoic and meditative principles. As we take this time in our life to reflect and reset, let us understand that a peaceful state of mind is not just at the gym or somewhere outside your home. It is not with a person or on vacation. Peace of mind exists within you wherever you are right now. Practice the tool of accessing that peace at multiple times throughout your day. Perhaps a year from now, when you are standing on the field amongst a large crowd, competing for a championship and in a pressure situation, you can take a deep breath, become aware of your body and state of mind, find inner peace and recall just how grateful you were for this time we were called upon to stay inside.
Cassie Reilly-Boccia currently resides in Lake Peekskill and is a Sports Performance Specialist and co-owner of Pleasantville’s Athletes Warehouse, a training facility dedicated to redefining the lives of student athletes in the Tri-State area. Cassie was a four year starter for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide softball team winning three SEC titles and a National Championship which she documented in her book, “Finished It – A Team’s Journey to Winning it All.” Cassie grew up in Yorktown where she was a part of the high school softball team’s first section championships in 2007 and 2008.
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