Adversity In Sports
Cold weather can have a definite impact on the outcome of a game.
Some athletes can play at a high level when temperatures are low and some players just can’t perform up to their standards when it’s cold or under other adverse conditions…
Does your performance drop off when game conditions are not to your liking?
Extreme temperatures add to the potential distractions players must manage… but every game is not played under ideal conditions and circumstances.
If you want to be your best, you need to be the master of your circumstances.
The Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings faced off in the NFC wild card playoff game in one of the coldest playoff games in NFL history. Kickoff temperature in Minneapolis was -6 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -25.
Dealing with extreme temperatures added to the pressure of “winning or going home.”
The Seahawks won 10-9 after Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a potential game-winning 27-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining.
Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater commented that the temperature didn’t affect the Vikings level of play on the field.
BRIDGEWATER: “It really wasn’t a factor at all. We were warm for the most part especially on the sidelines with the heated benches. You go out on the field. It’s all a mental thing. It did not affect us at all.”
The cold definitely impacted the game with the Viking scoring 13 less points than their seasonal average…
The excessive cold was a factor in the holder’s failure to spin the ball forcing Walsh to have to kick the lace-side of the ball on the potential game-winner and causing him to miss wide left.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman admitted how cold he was and the difficulty preparing for such frigid conditions.
SHERMAN: “It was all good until my eyelashes froze, then you kind of realize it might be kind of cold out here. I went out to warm up before everybody came out and took a jog. My contact lenses almost froze over. You can’t ever prepare for that kind of weather or that kind of cold because it’s like sitting in the freezer.”
The freezer is exactly how Seahawk kicker Steven Hauschka prepared for kicking the ball in the cold. Hauschka placed several footballs in a commercial-grade, walk-in freezer at just 4 degrees Fahrenheit and attempted field goals with the cold footballs during practice.
Hauschka’s preparation paid off as he hit a 46-yard field goal with just over two minutes remaining to give the Seahawk’s a 10-9 lead.
One thing to remember is that you, your teammates and your opponents are all playing in the same conditions.
If you can find a way to embrace the cold, instead of viewing it as the enemy, you will give yourself an edge over other competitors.
Tip for being a Master of your Circumstances:
The first to being a master of your circumstances is to be physically and mentally prepared for adverse conditions.
Realize that, during every game, every player is playing under the same conditions… and most of those players will be miserable playing in those conditions. Players who complain about the weather or field conditions are beat before the game starts.
Your advantage will come from staying positive and not allowing circumstances to infiltrate your mindset. Focus on what you can control instead of letting the conditions control you.
Learn about all my tips for focusing under adversity with The Focused Athlete CD and Workbook program….
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