Written By: Aaron Taylor | @1flight37
Defensive Back | Ball State Football
Member of Ball State Sports Link
In athletics as well as life, there is a need to be able to focus and achieve a goal effectively.
The thing that separates the great from the good — or the mediocre — is an ability to cut out the noise.
In interviews Michael Jordan attributes a great deal of his success to his ability to focus.
“The game has its ups and downs,” Jordan said. “But you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.”
Life can be broken down into seasons.
In some seasons, the world seems to be on your side and nothing can go wrong.
On the other hand, there will be seasons of extreme adversity meant to test your character.
You’ll never know your true character or the amount of focus required if you’ve never struggled. When times are good, everything is peachy you’re never really tested.
In my own collegiate experience, I was fortunate enough to make it to two bowl games between my freshman and sophomore year.
I never appreciated winning. I never appreciated how hard it was to win. Everything was smooth.
It wasn’t a question of whether we were going to win the next week, it became an expectation. I forgot what a loss felt like.
Right now our program is going through a season of adversity. Every win is precious. Coach Lembo says “winning is the hardest thing to do”.
Being a role player on both of those bowl teams, I didn’t understand what that meant outside of the couple snaps I got here and there.
Now that I am a veteran, I truly understand the struggle and focus it takes to put a ‘W’ in the win column. The look in players eyes who have gone on to do great things on the next level told the whole story.
Back then I was too ignorant to understand the burden and the amount of focus on Jonathan Newsome’s shoulders at halftime in Charlottesville, VA lining up across from a premiere tackle who would go on to get drafted to the NFL.
I never realized why Brian Jones played through multiple injuries — things that the average person wouldn’t get out of bed for, let alone try to tackle another human being with.
They both knew in order to succeed, a focus and ability to push through constant adversity was needed. They made it look so easy.
The players in the game may change, but the standard to reach your goals never will.
Do you have what it takes?