How to Approach Intra-Team Competition

Returning to Competition After Injury

Are you a Starter Who Worries about being Replaced?

Maybe you can relate to the following…

You strive to be the best you can to earn a starting role. You feel proud of your improvement and accomplishment. Your hard work in practice has paid off, and you proved yourself to your teammates and coaches.

However, an up-and-coming teammate has shown great promise and is challenging you for your starting position.

In practice, you become over-focused on your teammate, worrying that you will be outperformed. When your coach compliments your teammate, you take it as a negative statement of your ability.

During games, you are afraid of making mistakes. Your fear of mistakes creates doubt in your ability. So, instead of playing aggressively, you hold back and are cautious during competitions. The result is under performance and even lower confidence.

Constantly looking over your shoulder and worrying about what coach might think and who may take over your role–prevents you from performing well when you need to.

Rather than worrying about the “other guy,” the best approach to intra-team competition is to focus on your development as an athlete.

The first step is to understand what you can and cannot control.

For example, you cannot control your teammate’s ability, motivation to improve, or work ethic. Also, you cannot control your coach’s decision-making.

However, many factors are under your direct control:

* You CAN control your attitude. 
* You CAN control how you view competition with your teammates. 
* You CAN control your work ethic and focus during practice. 
* You CAN control improving your mental game. 
* You CAN control your preparation for each game.
* You CAN control your intensity and focus during games.
* You CAN control how you respond to mistakes during a competition.
* You CAN control being a team player and supporting your teammates.

When you focus on controllable aspects of your game, you will feel empowered, confident, and motivated to grow your game.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields was selected 11th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite showing promise through his first two years in the league, many outside sources question his status on the team.

Now that the Bears have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, there are rumors that Chicago may replace Fields and select a quarterback with their pick.

Fields talked about staying focused on being the best quarterback he could be when asked how he felt about the rumors.

FIELDS: “How I look at it is just controlling the controllables. No matter what happens with me, I can control what I can control, and that’s how I approach the game. That’s how I train for the game and how I carry myself within the game. It’s just those three aspects to where I kind of just have to look myself in the mirror and say what can I control? And it is what it is, and just move on and be the best quarterback I can be.”

The path to potential requires controlling what you can control under your current circumstances and letting the chips fall where they may. 

Focusing on yourself is the best way to achieve athletic excellence. Make a list of all parts of your game that you can control. Be specific.

Next to each item, write down how you will focus on each controllable. Review your list before practices, training sessions, and competitions.

Learn to let go of uncontrollables helps you focus on improvement!

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