Written by Courtney Genovese, Maryland Girls Director
Your mindset is everything. As an athlete, student, coach, parent and human being, our mindset can either make or break us. Growing up on the field, I was my own worst critic. Looking back now, the one thing I wish that I had worked on earlier was my mentality of the game. I grew up on the field afraid to make a mistake, and I am sure other athletes can relate. I would let my mindset of myself as a player get in the way of reaching my full potential at a young age. This mindset then drove me to be timid and “safe”.
Then, one day it finally clicked for me that I am the best version of myself when I am having fun. When I made a mistake, I worked hard to do the next best thing. Mistakes are a part of everyday life, especially in the sports world. The best thing that you can do as an athlete is to learn from the mistake and push forward to fix it when the next play happens. Once I allowed myself to do this, I had the best season of my career, which allowed me to finish in the top of the offensive statistical categories within my college program.
During my senior season at Coastal Carolina University, I had a career-ending injury. Instead of dwelling on what could have been and what I had lost, I decided to be the best teammate and the most positive influence I could be, especially for my peers. Having that positive mindset helped me to learn what it truly means to be an athlete and teammate. This mindset is what helped me realize that I wanted to be a coach. Even though I’m not on the field anymore, I want to see every player have the best experience possible and succeed.
When I am with my players, I do my best to drive them to be the best versions of themselves and to be confident with their decisions. Taking chances and making a mistake is a part of the game. The sooner players realize this, the quicker they have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The best advice I can give is to never take a moment for granted and always remember to have fun!