A huge truth that I have had to hang my hat on lately is "to remain true to yourself". 'd like to share some of my personal experience applying this ideal and then unpacking how it can benefit you in your sport. Once again I must thank John Wooden, or more specifically his father, for the passing along of this wise ideal.
As most of you currently know, or may not know, I am in the process of rolling out my new business Utmost Performance. It has been a journey that I would not trade for anything, but I cannot say it has been easy or will get an easier. The business is still in its infancy stage but I have already been met with several setbacks and difficulties. How has it that I have been able to endure some hardship and continue to push forward? I am glad you asked!
When you commit to staying true to yourself, you cannot be easily swayed. In my case, business is not booming...yet. It will. I know that it will. Why? Because I am staying true to myself and trust 100% in what I am doing and my ability to do it well. It's similar to the baseball player that hits .300. If he strikes out twice he knows that the likelihood if getting a hit on his next at bat is good.
As I have stated many times in my blog posts, in order to stay true to yourself you need to know who you are. It is surprising how many athletes cannot answer this question. They do not know who they are on the field or court. They allow their coaches, teammates and even their competitors to determine that. You must have a clear picture of who you are and understand that your picture is the only one that matters.
It is amazing to watch an athlete that has a true sense of conviction about who they are. They tend to perform up to, or down to, that image they have of themselves. Notice that this can be a good or bad thing, depending on how able you imagine yourself. Having positive expectations is another principle all together that we will not get into this blog post.
Once you have your image of who you are as an athlete, you hold it close. You clutch it tight and don't let go of it. Circumstances may try to sway you away from your vision of yourself, but hold fast. Keep moving forward. Continue to work towards helping others see what you see in yourself.