As a coach, I am always reminding players to focus on the next play. It is easy to say, harder to do. What separates the elite athletes from most, is they are able to put the past behind them. They focus on whats next. We call it having a short memory. Too many times, athletes can not do that. They do not let it go. They keep recalling that horrible play over and over in their head. They keep reliving it, which causes them to make more bad plays. It just snowballs.
Recently, Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys had this happen to him. In a game they had to win, he dropped a simple pass, then he fumbled the ball. This lead him to sitting on the sideline with a defeated look for the remainder of the game. I do not mean to just pick on Dez, I know sports radio has done enough of that over the past few weeks. I just wanted to point out that even professional athletes do it, not just the high school athletes I coach.
But it is not just athletes, we do it in this game of life as well. Think about when you had a bad day, which turned into a bad week, a bad month, etc.. Or one bad decision that lead into another bad decision, then another, till you find yourself at rock bottom. Wondering how in the world did you sink so low. How did it get to this.
In sports, coaches stress fundamentals. If the player does what they are suppose to do, they have a better chance of making a positive play. When they get away from those techniques that they were taught, negative things usually happen. It is the same for us. I believe most of us know the fundamentals on how we should live our lives. We just do not execute like we should. We do not stop the negative momentum from building up. We need to pause and tell ourselves – Next Play. We can not change the past, there is nothing we can do about yesterday. We can only control the controllable’s. So as we learn from yesterday, let us make sure we focus on today. Not tomorrow. Just today! Focus on just this next play.