Mizzou Football on Facing Adversity

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

It is often easy to let the thought of failure prevent us from taking chances, competing our best or trying something different. However, you cannot win without a fight. Some fights may be easier than others, but to win you must always compete. When faced with a tough opponent or a difficult situation, it is important to make the effort to take the risk and work hard to win the fight. Mizzou Football players and coaches place great importance on facing adversity with a winning mindset.

Adversity comes to us all- it’s only a matter of when. The real question is not whether we’ll face adversity, but how we’ll respond to it when it comes. If our attitude is one that embraces learning and growing, we’ll treat adversity as a stepping-stone to the success we desire rather than seeing it as an insurmountable obstacle. But if we have a negative attitude, becoming defensive at the first hint of criticism or blaming others for our mistakes, we’ll miss the opportunity to develop into the types of people we want to be. We have to make the most of both the positives and the negatives. There will be days when everything goes right and there will be days when it all falls apart. We will have stretches in life where really good things happen and other stretches when we cannot even remember those good things. Other times, we will have a mixture of the two. So, we must be prepared to face adversity.

Have a plan. If you get hurt on the field, you have to learn how to handle it. You have to work on rehabbing your injuries. If you want to get back into playing condition, you have to come back not only physically, but also mentally. When a tough loss comes your way, you have to handle the media scrutiny and the feelings that accompany criticism. If you move to second team, you have to work through those changes and try to win back your starting spot. Have a plan to deal with the adversity and the success you will face in life.

It is important that we learn from adversity so that we can take the necessary steps to grow and apply the lessons it taught us. After a loss or a disappointing performance, go back to the problem and analyze it. Ask what you can learn from it, figure out how to do it right and how you are going to visualize doing it right the next time.

Remember, the fact that you didn’t achieve the desired outcome doesn’t mean you are a failure. It simply means that the plan you had in place didn’t work; you have to get better. When things don’t go your way, back up and start over. Learn what you can do to improve. Get back in the game.