“You can succeed when no one believes in you. You have no chance to succeed if you don’t believe in yourself.” Lou Holtz
I shared a video about the topic of self belief a couple of weeks ago. And this quote by Lou Holtz resonates with me on a multitude of levels. In some ways I see some similarities with this quote and when athletes share that they have a chip on their shoulder.
This idea became more profound after my conversation with 2021 Olympic Trials silver medallist discus thrower Micaela Hazlewood. In sharing her story about throwing in high school and the recruiting process, she made reference to the fact that she has a chip on her shoulder. Micaela shared that it (the chip) stems from her time as a high school senior with a handful of collegiate coaches showing interest in her attending their university to throw.
Micaela also shared this on social media a few weeks ago. The idea that so many people doubted her, her abilities, and what she was capable of throwing. Essentially, she has bet on herself and the bet is paying off.
So, why wouldn’t you believe in yourself? As Coach Holtz stated, you have no chance to succeed if you don’t believe in yourself.
If you don’t believe you can accomplish something, why would others think you could?
Much of our belief system stems from prior experiences (good and bad). From those experiences we are able to ascertain potential successes or failures moving forward. From my experiences as a coach, athletes at times seem to lack the patience required to achieve a certain level of success. Or however they as the athlete perceive their success to be.
For those of you that have been listening to the Forza Athletics Life and Coaching Podcast for a while, you know that I ask a question like this of all my guests, “What advice would you have for someone that was interested in continuing to pursue their throwing dreams after graduating?” All of my guests have suggested to those listening that they indeed should continue throwing/training as long as they can and want to under the condition that it is still pleasurable and enjoyable to them.
Those that ask are probably asking for a couple of reasons. First, seeking the counsel and guidance of someone that has achieved what you want to achieve will give a great indication into what it will take to accomplish a similar goal. Second, those same individuals asking may be asking to get a sense or indication as to whether or not the other person thinks they should continue pursuing their throwing goal.
I remember when Luis graduated in 2016 and we were beginning to put a plan together for the 2020 Olympic Trials. I shared something on Twitter about making the transition to post-collegiate throwing and received a response from Jud Logan. In a few words he basically said that if you haven’t hit the ‘A’ standard it’s going to make things much more difficult. I appreciated his honesty then and am appreciative that he took the time to share his thoughts on it.
Similar to the athletes I coach or have coached in the past, I have always encouraged them to continue pursuing their interests/passions after college. For those that have wanted to continue throwing, I’ve helped them as best I can as a post-collegiate thrower. If anyone were to ask me today what I think they should do about post-collegiate training, my response would be a resounding YES. Yes, continue pursuing your goal. Continue training. Try to find other like-minded individuals and ask them what has worked, hasn’t worked, etc.
The journey has to start with the individual. They have to believe they are pursuing their goal for the right reason(s). To continue training for the sake of training without a passion for it might lead to burnout, disengagement, getting physically hurt, bored, frustrated, etc. You have to believe in yourself that you will be able to accomplish this goal. You need to have a ‘Why’ behind this pursuit. Find a support system, a group of others that are pursuing similar goals. Think about what you’ll need to do differently as a post-collegiate athlete; facilities, training, coaches, recovery tools, etc.
Dr. Charles Infurna
Charles Infurna, Ed.D., is the owner and lead coach of Forza Athletics Track Club. Dr. Infurna has coached National Record Holders, National Champions, All-Americans, and Conference Champions at the Post-Collegiate, Collegiate, and High School level.