“When anyone tells me I can’t do anything…I’m just not listening anymore.” Florence Griffith-Joyner
Many stories exist about athletes sitting on the bench, waiting for their turn to play. When you’re in the back-up position behind a superstar favorite on your team, patience is a necessity. It’s a waiting game. Biding time, anticipating the right moment when your name will be called to get into the game, is familiar to Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
Starting out small in stature, he was consistently overlooked by scouts and coaches. Middle school, high school, college and pro ball. Rodgers maintained a quiet dignity as the backup quarterback for Brett Favre.
Many gifted athletes in similar positions have become cynical while waiting for their chance. Other’s demanded a chance to play, feeling justified in their approach. The messages for asserting yourself to be noticed appear justified. But are they? Cynicism, over time, works against an athlete’s mental game.
Rodger’s approach was to seek out counsel, providing insights, to help him during the waiting game. Let’s face it, three years warming a bench as the back-up quarterback can feel like an eternity.
He used that time to his advantage, continuing to play on the scout team every day. His commitment to football built confidence among his teammates. When his day finally arrived in 2008, they already knew he was capable of stepping into the starting quarterback position.
Rodgers created powerful goals to prophesize what he knew he would one day achieve.
Aaron Rodgers used his time well, continuing to work on his game in anticipation of Favre’s retirement. The actions Rodgers took set him up for his current success. He maintained focus on the things within his control. Focused athletes reach their goals building confidence along the way.
1. Desire for excellence. His actions spoke louder than words. With his situation Rodgers saw opportunities instead of obstacles. Consider what you can do now to change your outlook about your current circumstances? 2. Who’s on your team? “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”Jim Rohn Spend time with people who challenge you to stretch yourself. Rodgers continued to practice with players who would push him, challenging him to continue improving his skills. Remember #1 ranked athletes, spend time with athletes already playing at that level. They think differently and act differently than less self-driven athletes. 3. Where do you stop yourself? It would have been easy for Rodgers to make excuses about his circumstances, for him to have hung up his dreams to play pro football and pursued a law degree. Making excuses is a game stopper, interfering with success. Any resistance is usually related to mindset.
Consistent training took Rodgers to the top of his game. Attitude is a choice. A positive mindset is empowering. He continued seeing himself as the starting quarterback, as a winner, creating a champion mindset.
Deciding where to place focus is a choice. Focusing only on the positive is a challenge, but possible. His goals were all about excellence, about winning. Although it took time, there was so much he continued to do well along the way, even when no one else noticed.
Challenge: Become aware of your strengths. Choose the next step to move you closer to your vision, excelling toward peak performance. Which of those things can you begin doing now? Begin viewing yourself as a champion. This will shift your energy; your brain will change on a cellular level. Subconsciously you will begin looking for opportunities to get you on the fast track for success. Opportunities will begin to appear.