Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback, broke the all-time passing yards record in the NFL Monday night, surpassing Peyton Manning. New record: 72,103 yards. He’s played 18 seasons, 254 games…so that’s an average of 284 yards per game. Drew Brees is a great quarterback, but you don’t set a record like that by just being great, you have to be consistent, you have to have great teammates, and you have to improve upon your skill and knowledge continually (especially as you age).
Watching an athlete do something so incredible is moving, and reminds us how sports can be so much more sometimes. Here’s a guy who has worked tremendously hard to perfect his craft. He has trained his mind and body, sacrificed, bounced back, motivated those around him, he’s won, he’s lost, and now he’s set a record in a city that will never forget him. Not to mention he beat some odds to get to where he is today: “Brees is the unlikeliest of all-time great quarterbacks -- just 6 feet tall, barely recruited out of high school, he fell to the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the NFL draft in 2001 and was doubted by most of the league when he became a free agent after a career-threatening shoulder injury in 2005.” (ESPN)
As Brees passed the ball 62 yards for a touchdown, breaking the record, the game pauses and he celebrates with his teammates who are genuinely happy for him. Teammates say these words about him: “Works every day to be the best.” “A combination of skill and desire, accuracy and character.” “Unbelievably prepared all the time.” “A repetition guy.” “His work ethic.” “As great a player as he is, he's an even greater person.” “He's hands down the best player in the organization, but…he grinds like he's a free agent trying to make the roster."
After the teammate celebration, Brees jogs over to his wife and four children. He hugs and kisses his kids, and then quietly says to them, “You can accomplish anything in life if you really work for it.” True words said by a truly great competitor. Let’s learn from and be inspired by his example…
Read more from Brees’ teammates over the years.
The voice in our head, and what it says, is something we should be paying attention to, especially as people who want to improve and get better each day. I’m sure you have heard the saying “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Don’t let this be a cliche—learn from it and admit the power our thoughts have. When we approach something negatively, or have self-talk that is centered on our limits or our deficiencies, we are much less likely to succeed at it. (And you’re much less likely to enjoy it as well.) Our self-talk should be positive, uplifting, confidence-building, and kind!
Think for a moment about how you talk to yourself. Is it productive to your work? Does it help you focus on the next right thing? It is in line with how you would treat someone you loved? Does it convey belief and confidence? Are you kind enough to yourself in your own head?
Try this: The next time you are in a challenging or uncomfortable situation/activity, pay attention to your self talk. Immediately and consciously add positive affirmations to this voice. See if it makes a difference for you! (Ideas for positive affirmations: I can do this, I’m fearless, happiness is up to me, I am confident, I am comfortable in my skin, I am enough.)
Athletes-> self-talk is paramount for building your confidence and attacking challenges without fear of failure! Pay attention and take control of your thoughts!
"Get Better" is our PEAK blog, providing you with content to help enhance your game, your mind, and your relentless pursuit of the process! Enjoy.
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