Here’s a question for you – as a softball player, are you always trying to be the best? What if I told you that’s not healthy and that there was actually a much better option. Check out what I’m talking about.
To have a chance of actually “being the best” you want to try instead to “DO your best”. While it might not sound like a big difference, the results will be HUGE!
Setting unrealistic expectations of yourself leads to stress, frustration and ultimately failure – and none of those sound good. “Cindy, just do your best” was something I heard from my parents all the time while I was growing up. I was never told I had to be the best just that I had to try my best. Wanting to be the best came from a place deep inside of me, but never from my coaches or parents. But I was lucky and not all players are. You might have a parent or a coach, or even both, telling you to “go out and be the best!”, and if so – that’s tough.
There’s a huge difference between “doing your best” and “being the best” – and I’m not talking in regards to the final outcome. In fact, by doing your best you may in fact end up being the best, but the BIG difference is that you can control whether or not you’re doing your best, and you have no control over whether you actually end up being the best!
We should try to do our best in most things we do, whether it’s warming up at practice, studying for a test, making our bed in the morning, or cleaning up after dinner. Doing your best doesn’t really take that much more effort, and yet the end results will be better.. Doing your best is satisfying because you know you couldn’t have tried any harder, while always trying to be the best is stressful because it feels like someone is always moving the finish line on you.
I suggest you keep a “Doing My Best” Journal and at the end of each day go through a checklist and ask yourself this question:
- Did I Do My Best Today…
- In School?
- At Home?
- With My Friends?
- With My Family?
- To a Stranger?
- To My Teachers?
- When I Was Struggling?
- When My Teammate Was Struggling?
Doing your best becomes contagious and causes your friends and teammates to do their best. Maybe they work harder to do their best at being kind to someone who is different from them at school. Or, they do their best to be patient with their little brother, or they do their best to help the freshman catcher better handle their pitches during practice. Whatever it is, doing your best tells people that you care, have pride and are someone they want to be like (or, have on their team if they’re a coach!).
In all that effort to Do Your Best, you might end up actually being the best at something someday, or not. But you know what, without actually doing your best, the chances of being the best will go to someone else.
For more help with your nightly Doing My Best Journal, check out our Softball Excellence Softball Journal.
Thanks Cindy, great article.