Two days ago, I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon working with the Carolina Day School Varsity Girls Tennis Team. All the girls did a great job! After explaining what I do as a Strength Coach, we had a great workout filled with drills addressing the needs and demands of their sport. During the cool-down and stretching, I talked to the girls about never quitting and giving their best. As I drove home that evening, I started thinking about my talk. Never quitting is an easy concept to grasp I thought. Then I asked myself out loud, “What is giving your best? What does that even mean?” We hear it all the time. You’ve probably heard it since you were little, especially if you played sports. I use the saying in motivational talks and even demand it of myself. What does it mean though? After driving and working out in my mind what giving my best means to me, I started to think about how I could make a connection with people when teaching this concept. This is what I came up with:
I think a good way to set the foundation for what it means to give your best is to ask yourself one simple question : “What would the “best” me look like?” …. Not only in appearance, but in every way. If you could imagine the ideal you, how would you look…speak…act…feel…perform? Create a clear picture in your mind of “this version” of you. The next step is to want to be this person. You must desire to be the “best you” if you are to actually become it. Believe you can be that person. Finally, you must have a constant awareness of your desire to be your best. It is this awareness that will absolutely make you give your best in everything you face. Sounds simple right? This is why it isn’t :
1. People compare… DO NOT do this when it comes to evaluating whether you’ve given your best or not. Your bests are different from other’s bests. One person’s best may be to run an Ironman Triathlon…another’s best may be to run around the block. One person’s best may be leading a Fortune 500 company every day…another’s best may be to get their child fed breakfast and to school on time…once a week. Your best is between YOU and YOU.
2. People confuse giving your best with being perfect. I have been guilty of this myself. They ARE NOT the same. You do not have to be perfect. This has been a huge lesson for me just this year. Accepting God’s Grace and Mercy makes this a lot easier to get through. You can’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. You’re not made to be perfect. Giving your best becomes possible when you realize you don’t have to be perfect. The realization unleashes you in a way.
There are certainly many more reasons giving your best becomes so complicated(past circumstances, fear, upbringing, expectations, etc.), but for the purpose of this article I will stop with the above two reasons. Please avoid them.
To sum it all up : 1. Define your own “bests”. 2. Desire to give and be your best. 3. Believe in yourself 4. ALWAYS REMEMBER what giving and being your best means to YOU ***5. Remind yourself each morning when you wake up, that you are committed to doing whatever it takes…in anything you face in order to be the Best You.
Finally, a big thank you to the CDS Girls Tennis Team for allowing me to work with them and just as importantly, for inspiring this weeks Blog post 🙂