From a young age, I have taken part in various different sports actvities, whether this be in school or at home. I fondly remember my brothers and I being very competitive, and playing cricket in the alley, football in the field or racing down the pavement always compounded this. Later in my youth, I began to take part in organised sports and at one time was playing for two football teams and two cricket teams. ‘Free’ days in the week were hard to come by and once I hit my late teens decided to ‘slow down’ a little. Currently, I play in the Bradford Cricket League and play football in what they call the ‘County Amateurs’. As well as this, I frequently play snooker, badminton, golf and recently taken up lawn bowls (yes, im only 30 years old!). I look back on a couple of decades of being involved in some sort of sports with great memories, but more importantly it has taught me these things about life!
1. Everyone has a limit, although it varies from person to person. Know yours, and know when to tap out. Learn to bow out gracefully. Everyone has a weakness and a breaking point, do not be ashamed of yours. The upside to that is that this implies that everyone also has a strength.
2. Take care of yourself – mind, body, heart – because nobody else can or will do that for you. And always, always, always trust your gut.
3. All things grow back and replenish. In fact, the only way to grow muscle is by tearing it and letting it heal, and the only way to make bone stronger is by wearing it down gradually over time.
4. Practice/train harder than at the level you wish to perform at. If you train at 150% then you are preparing to perform at 100%.
5. If you can’t count on someone to back your play then they aren’t really on your team. And its true what they say, you are only as strong as your weakest player, so make sure you have only the best in your corner.
6. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. And if perfection is not your goal (it doesn’t always have to be) make sure you know what your goal is. Then, when you reach it, set a new one.
7. You will fail/fall nine out of ten times, but a true winner is created from a willingness to get back up and keep going.
8. When you’re tired, keep pushing. Don’t be afraid to go to your edge.
9. When you cry, cry hard, like you mean it. Then, wash your face, put yourself back together and go back out ready to raise hell.
10. Do everything with intention. A perfect 10 was not born a perfect 10, it started first as a 6 or a 7 and worked its way up. Be patient and be intentional, and you will get there.
11. What you do – day in, day out – blood, sweat, tears – counts more than anything you say. An excuse will not make up for the reps you did not do.
12. The more muscles used in one movement, one punch or leap, the more powerful it will be. Muscles, like people, are always weaker when used in isolation.
13. It takes a lot more energy to swing and miss than to swing and hit.
14. What you do when you are at rest almost as important as what you do when you’re actively training. Rest actively.
15. Never underestimate the power of psychological warfare. Never underestimate the value of a strong mind – it is indispensable. And don’t reveal your strategies, people can’t prepare for something they don’t know is coming to them.
16. Always respect your opponent and learn from your opponent because they might be better than you–if not now, later. And also because those likely to defeat you are often the most similar to you.
17. The only real defeat is that which is self-imposed.
18. Mistakes are only truly such when you don’t learn from them. You can recover from almost all mistakes, and recovering from them starts with forgiving yourself for making them. That being said it is in your best interest to fear and avoid the few you cannot recover from.
19. Always protect your face.
20. Attitude really is at least half the battle. Be aware of your own habits of mind because they translate to habits of motion.
21. You can ignore the advice and direction of your coaches and teammates all you want, but at the end of the day it’s your ass that is going to suffer from your incompetence, not theirs.
22. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
23. Pride follows success, not the other way around. Our egos are often our own worst enemy