The Dream is Real: Keys to success from an athlete’s mindset

Maurice HallBlog Series Vol. 1, Maurice Hall

Maurice Hall OSUAs a child in school there is almost one question that is always asked. What do you want to be when you grow up? Usually there is at least one kid that says I want to be a professional athlete. I was that kid. At the age of ten years old, I knew I was going to be a professional football player. I did not know how or what it would take to make it happen, but in my mind The Dream Was Real. Envisioning what you want and seeing it changes everything for athletes and could for all. I believe that the following 8 tips will get anyone what they want.

  1. Educate yourself on your goal: When I realized that I was going to be a professional football player at the age of ten, I educated myself on my profession. I watched tons of NFL football games, watched the pre and post game interviews of the players. I watched stories that were done on certain players that I wanted to emulate. I knew everything about these players, their teams and the steps they took to get where they were. There is nothing more frustrating to talk to someone who is a professional in their field but doesn‘t know or care about the history of their profession. Know what you want and learn.
  1. You Feel Good, You Play Good: After doing my research on my favorite players, one thing that all of them had in common were a healthy lifestyle. I realized at the age of fourteen I needed to start working out to prepare my body for the increased contact of playing high school football. Because the dream was real for me, I avoided putting anything in my body that I felt would cause my engine to get clogged and not allow me to perform at my best when the game was on the line. In life, it is easy to take for granted a healthy lifestyle if your dream is something that isn’t physical like football, but research shows that even getting eight hours of sleep as an adult allows our minds to be more alert for longer periods of time, allows us to react faster and learn at a faster rate. Regardless of what your dream is, you will need all of those things in order to get there as fast as you want to.
  1. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: If someone would have told me I would have had to practice in 100 degree weather, wake up at 6am in the morning to workout, or sacrifice a social life in order to reach my goal at the age of ten, I would have opted out. I did not realize the persistence I would have to have in order to get what I wanted. Your dream will take sacrifice from you and you should welcome it because after all, you chose this dream. Every football play is designed one way. On offense, If every person does their job 100% of the time, you should score a touchdown. The problem is that on 99% of the teams, someone makes a mistake. If you look at those odds, that has to be depressing, but persistence is key. Don’t forget that there are other people who have the same dream as you do. They may also be more talented than you and have done all the things that you’ve done to prepare. They are on the other side of the ball pressing toward their dream. With 99% chance of failure, I know that if I persist, that 1% of perfection is bound to happen where I will score the touchdown. Believe me, there is nothing like your dream not just being real in your mind, but being real in your life.
  2. No Guts, No Glory: You’ve heard the saying, everything that’s worth it, does not come easy. Plain and simple, you will have to work for your dream. Sometimes this can be the hardest thing to do. Living in a world of technology where you can get almost anything by just clicking a button will not suffice with your dream. You will have to literally work hard day after day for what you want. As I got to college, I realized while football was just fun for me, for the University it was a business and I was the employee to do their work. Some essence of football was done 7 days a week every week for four years straight in order to make my dream a reality. It was hard, it was frustrating at times, it just plain sucked. But this is what I wanted to do since I was ten years old. Don’t complain, lift your head up and work for it.
  1. I’ll Believe It When I See It: How many of us thought someone supported our dream until the hard times came? My dad used to always tell me as a kid, “It’s not a matter of how people see you, it’s a matter of how you see yourself. “ I saw myself as a professional football player and that’s all that mattered. Don’t worry about the people on the sidelines. They also have dreams but they don’t have the courage to go after it like you, so to keep you where they are, they plant seeds to make you doubt yourself. Don’t fall into the trap. No one else will see your dream if you don’t see it everyday . We are all special in this world. There are no two people exactly alike and that in itself should be praised. You were blessed with something that no one else has. When your dream is connected to that something, how can you not believe in that?
  1. See It Everyday: In our locker room, we had a poster that said ALL IN. DO YOU WANT IT MORE THAN THEY DO? Seeing that to the point you dream about it in my opinion is healthy. Knowing that life will throw you curveballs, it’s good to see your dream everyday. Write it down and put it somewhere so no matter what, you will have to come in contact with it. The more you see it, the easier it is to make decisions every single day that will help you get closer to that dream.
  1. Talk The Talk And Walk The Walk: It’s easy to say how much you want a dream but the decisions you make every day that you wake up will tell everyone around you how serious you are about what is coming out of your mouth. No one told you to have this dream. If you don’t want to do it, no one will probably care. You will go down as another woulda, coulda, shoulda person, and believe me there are plenty of them for you to become friends with. With that being said, it’s up to you to actively make every decision count toward your goal. My goal at one time was to lose 50 pounds. I downloaded my calorie counter app and understood that anything I put in my mouth counted toward my calories. If those decisions I made wouldn’t allow me to progress toward weight loss, would keep me in the same situation or even worse, it would put me further away from what I said I wanted. Talk The Talk and Walk The Walk
  1. Hi, We’re Similar: When I was preparing for the NFL draft, we had something called the NFL Combine. This is where the football coaches and owners test you physically on numerous things that they feel will make you great in the NFL. One of the most important things is the 40 yard dash. There are some great coaches that specifically train athletes for this particular drill. For me, it was important that I found someone who had done it before. If I wanted to accomplish my dream, I needed to talk and train with someone who had accomplished my dream before. Know that what you are doing has been done before, so don’t hesitate to find that person who has already done it or is doing it and get their insight. There is one thing to teach it and another to have done it. If you want to be a doctor, you don’t go talk to someone who just watches Grey’s Anatomy. Find them, learn from them.

 

To learn more about Mo Hall, check out his bio.

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