This I Believe

Alex - Minnetonka, Minnesota
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: golden rule

Be Cool

This I believe, when one is faced in hard or compromising situations it is critical to keep a sense of cool or calmness. I find that when you let yourself loose control or over-think a situation you make it harder for yourself to do what you need to do to get done. Many times in life I’ve found by just keeping it simple I can get things done a lot easier. It is when I loose that calmness and let the situation get to me where I start making mistakes and, unfortunately most of the time, failing.

This truth can be best represented in how crucial it is to keep calm on the soccer field. Soccer is a mixture of both physical and mental energy. For forwards, our position takes more mental than physical energy. The nerves one must have to put an “easy” ball past the keeper can overtake some of the best forwards in the game. This “easy” ball past the keeper is not so “easy” once you are sprinting toward a keeper that is going to try anything in his power to stop the ball or you from scoring. I know this first hand being a varsity striker that finishing a shot is more than eighty percent mental, and if you are not calm while facing the goalie in a perfect opportunity, your shot will be a disaster. The thing that trips me up is overanalyzing the situation, saying to myself “I need to put the ball right on the far post and hard or else this shot will go nowhere”. Most of the time when I over-think it is because I realize it’s going to take a lot to put it past a good keeper, hence Paul’s dominance over everyone. I mean the kid’s a beast, his reputation and his unbearably scary presence creates a mental unease in the most talented forwards. I have come to the realization that being confident in what you’re about to do and having the nerves to put Paul out of your mind, brings success.

But one might say, “How can I stay calm and cool like you Alex?” Well, a little trick that has worked for me in not only soccer but also in freestyle skiing is pretending you’ve done this before. Pretend like you’ve already scored ten goals the other game and what’s stopping you from scoring more? Or pretend like you have already done that rail and what is stopping me from doing it again? By doing this you create a sense of ease and feeling of a big weight being taken off your back. This will let you be free and calm to do what you need to do. Some call this lying to yourself, but I call it be-stilling a sense of false confidence in yourself so you don’t feel like you can’t do it. And this is a truth that has set me free to accomplish even the most daunting of tasks.