How to Handle The Pressure of Replacing a Star Teammate
Many athletes rely on the top player or athlete on their squad.
You may view this ONE athlete as crucial to the success of the team. This star athlete may be the glue the holds the team together and leads in most of the team’s production.
This player may seem irreplaceable, but what if circumstances change?
What if that star athlete gets injured, ages up, graduates or moves to a different team?
And what if you are the one that receives the nod to be the replacement?
Many athletes can feel overwhelmed as a replacement for a star teammate.
When you replace a star teammate, you may feel you are being judged or compared to your predecessor.
You may question your abilities and feel you need to prove yourself. You might feel you have to produce in all the same ways as your predecessor.
That is a lot of responsibility and a ton of pressure to heap upon yourself. This negative mindset, the mindset of comparison, only leads to disappointment, frustration and poor performances.
The reality is that you don’t need to prove your worth.
You earned the new role on your team as a result of your athletic merits. Secondly, you don’t need to be a carbon-copy of your predecessor. You have a unique combination of skills and attributes.
When being the replacement for a star teammate, you must focus on your talents if you are to be the best version of yourself and an asset to your team.
Focusing on your skill set is the mindset that will help you achieve the most of your potential.
Stanford University running back, Bryce Love, has the right mindset as he is set to replace one of the Cardinals’ all-time best offensive players, Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey accounted for 40.1 percent of Stanford’s yards from scrimmage last season, set an NCAA record for all-purpose yards, was the 2015 Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, the 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up and the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Love’s mindset is to focus on his skill set. Though Love is not the biggest player on the field he has blazing speed and agility.
LOVE: “You can’t necessarily worry about replacing Christian. Christian is going to be Christian, and at the end of the day, there will never be another Christian. In terms of me, I want to strive to be better, and I want to be the best version of myself and just go out and play.”
Love may be no McCaffrey but make no mistake about it, McCaffrey is no Love either.
No matter what your sport or your circumstance, the only mindset that will translate into success is to focus on your game and how you can contribute to the overall success of your team.
Your Right Mindset for Replacing a Star Teammate:
Make a list of your skill set, include your physical abilities, technical skills, leadership skills, mental skills, etc. This is exactly what is meant by focusing inward.
Compete from your strengths and commit to being the best you can be.
So instead of trying the fill the “big shoes” of the person before you, why not just wear your own shoes?
Start by understanding how to improve your confidence with The Confident Athlete audio and workbook program:
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(Listen to his success story)
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