1. Compete because YOU want to. Your happiness and well-being is more important than success. If your sport isn’t in your heart, then try something else. Don’t do it for someone else, do what YOU love for YOU.

2. Focus on the process not the outcome. If you keep improving each day, wins and titles will take care of themselves. If you focus only on winning, you will be too preoccupied trying to not make mistakes – which will result in losing. Focus on the process of winning instead. Do not worry about other athletes, but constantly look to perform at your very best.

3. Don’t worry about what other people think. Focus on yourself and the lifestyle you want to lead. Many people get caught up with “people pleasing” and trying to impress family, friends, coaches and teammates. Focusing on making these other people happy distracts you from who is really important – YOU! Plus, it adds unnecessary pressure on you.

4. Treat all competitions the same. Don’t make any game or tournament special. A friendly scrimmage, a championship game, or a competitive practice drill should all be taken seriously to the same degree. Avoid treating “bigger” competitions any differently than you would treat a scrimmage. Messi said, “Whether it’s a friendly match, or for points, or a final, or any game – I play the same.”

5. Control the things you can control. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control because it’ll frustrate you. Focus on the things you can control:

EFFORT- 100% all the time winning or losing.
ATTITUDE- positive and composed regardless of circumstances.
EXECUTION- Be aggressive. Err on the side of being gutsy!

6. Forgive yourself quickly. Use mistakes as a learning experience and make sure to let yourself off the hook. Mistakes are inevitable, and the best way to forget about one is to make up for it in your next game But you can’t move forward if you’re still worried about the past. Spend at least 90% of your time on the solution (how to improve) and no more than 10% on the problem (why?).

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