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Simone Biles- The Ups and Downs in Sports

WARNING: long article, do not read unless you want to see your athlete's courage, confidence, and ability to control their emotions and frustrations be improved


I debated writing an article on my thoughts about the Simone Biles situation, but quite frankly I think doing so would be contributing to the larger, more zoomed-out problem.

The media does whatever it can do to ensure that the most people possible become outrageously, irrationally, ABSURDLY CONSUMED with the lives of professional athletes. (although, as always, I am pleased with the few who have tried to use this as a genuine teaching opportunity for our youth​ to inspire them to be courageous and communicate their thoughts and emotions).

This may be the way too altruistic Andrew speaking, but I still long for the day to see a headline being about a servant leader helping a teammate out, surrendering his or her own ego, doing something extraordinarily kind and selfless, or something along those lines. What a world we would have if we began recognizing and spotlighting acts of service, kindness, and love.

We won't get our hopes up but in the meantime, here is an article I wrote that will help your child embrace challenges ​on the off the field ​and honor the struggles of sports and life!


The ups build the ego

The downs build the character

The Olympics are in full swing and if we watch with a learner's eye, we can learn a WHOLE lot from these Olympics...

😃“The Ups”

Isn’t it a shame that the feelings of the ups do not last very long?

You think they are going to, but they never do. We are not wired to cling to the feelings of our victories for very long. If you want it to last you will need to generate your own joy from your victories after the initial endorphins wear off.

Oddly enough, the ups are rarely ever as good as you thought they were going to be when you initially were so enthralled with achieving them.

Enjoy them when they come. Success DOES leave clues, so repeat things that worked.

But remember, at any given point in your life cycle of sports, there is a valley on the other side of a peak. Don't obsess on that but do be prepared!

THE SECRET: The way you handle the UP tells me how you will handle the DOWN. If you let the "up" get you too “up”, the roller coaster of your emotions and confidence will come crashing down when the “down” comes.

If you want to know how the best of the best maintain their composure, master their emotions, and experience consistent confidence and success, keep reading.

😔“The Downs”

If you have recently faced an injury, been cut from a team, lost your starting position, were humiliated by a coach, or embarrassed in front of your teammates, you have a golden opportunity right in front of you. Don't let it pass you by, HONOR IT!

Honor the struggle you are going through. To honor something means to treat it with respect and to know that you will be stronger as a result of it.

Your athletic setback is a set-up for a comeback, if you ​choose ​to see it, if you ​choose look at it through the right lens.

I love the downs and I now know a few athletes who do as well. They honor the downs, but they did not used to.

They have taught athletes like Kylie and Sarah so much more than the ups. Kylie's injury and Sarah getting cut from her team created a hunger, a drive, and a determination in them that they ​never had before.

Honor the Struggle, Honor the Struggle, Honor the Struggle!

We are human, so naturally we want UPS more than downs. But do not fear the downs any longer. When they come, LOOK up.

Looking up during the "downs" is my new game-plan--> I sit and wonder, "How will God use this one to benefit my future or someone else’s?" #Romans828

Here is how the best athletes, the best PEOPLE in the world handle the ups and downs:

Act “MEDIUM”

Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, taught me the concept of acting medium. I now have passed it on to all of my mindset coaching students​ and we discuss it a couple times a year with our athletes during motivational messages. It’s amazing to see the lightbulbs that go off.

It was a concept he used to produce a Super Bowl winning team and more importantly, champion caliber people. He found that most athletes have trouble controlling their emotions.

What goes up must come down. When something goes down, it takes a lot of energy to get back up. Acting Medium is the best way to maintain consistent, peak performance. If your athlete(s) struggles with consistent results, I can guarantee you they have inconsistent feelings and emotions.

Acting Medium Exercise for Athletes

During practice, how are my emotions? Do I get super pumped up when I score at practice? Do I get super angry when I make a mistake at practice? Write about my emotions at practice below.

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During games, how do I act when things go wrong? When I make a mistake? Ref makes a terrible call? My teammates are slacking? Coach pulls me out? I get a penalty unfairly?

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How do I WANT to act from here moving forward? Why?

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Use this exercise to bring self-awareness to your performance.

As their parent or coach, you will help them in incredible ways by sharing how you have failed in the past.

Vulnerability is one of the best teachers. The Acting Medium exercise can be used for school, sports, or anything else that causes their emotions to roller coaster.

I recommend that you take a moment to think about the ups and downs in your life. Reflect on the good that came from the downs.

And remember...as goes the leader so goes the student...the way that you and I respond to the ups and downs of sport and life will often be the determining factor for how our student-athletes will respond.

The ups build the ego, the downs build the character!

Your friend and coach,

Andrew


Andrew Simpson

Chief Vision Officer
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