Thinking Positive

Whether it’s in sports, school, work, body image, or life, it becomes very easy for people to focus on what they are doing wrong and all of the negativity. People want to succeed at what they’re doing and feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. However, it can be challenging, when one is constantly telling themselves, “This is terrible,”, “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I don’t think I can do this,”. Thinking positive is a way to turn those thoughts into something positive that will help you achieve your goals and feel better about yourself and whatever you do.

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In sports, all athletes struggle with the pressure of wanting to win, not let down their coach, teammates, and parents, and perform with perfection. They also struggle with the ups and downs in their performance and when they are going through a rough period, they tend to think negatively which will only make things worse. Two words that are heard often are “can’t” and “don’t”. There are a lot of coaches out there who will tell their athletes, “Don’t hit the ball out,” or “Don’t lose,” and that causes the athletes to think about what they should not do versus what they should do. Then when athletes have talked themselves into doing the wrong thing, they start to believe that they can’t shoot a free throw, or land their back flip, or hit a float serve. Everything can go downhill if this negativity isn’t stopped in its tracks.

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For example, in tennis, I can be very hard on myself. Now that I’ve been cleared to start running and playing a little bit of tennis again, my dad and I have been playing quite a bit so that I can get back into shape for the high school season. I haven’t played in about six months and getting back on the court for the first time was great, but there was frustration that came with it too. My groundstrokes were definitely not what I remembered them being and I struggled to get the ball in the actual court. My dad would ask me how my groundstrokes felt and I told him, “I’m not getting the ball in the court” and “I can’t seem to hit forehands”. After I told him that my dad told to focus on what I can do right for the next shot. I’m much more successful when I focus on the positive and what I can do to improve versus how bad my last backhand was.

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The idea of thinking positive has been something I’ve been working on for a long time in tennis and life in general but it can be hard. It’s very easy to slip into a negative mindset but when you focus on what you can do to get better, you’re probably going to improve and feel better about yourself.

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These same ideas can be applied to how you see yourself as a person and your goals in life. Maybe you think that you aren’t pretty or you don’t fit in. Those same two thoughts could be turned into something positive. Even in something “ugly” or negative, you could find something “beautiful” and positive to think about. And with the whole “fitting in” thing, isn’t it better to be yourself and discover who you are than fake it and be in unhealthy relationships? If you think that you aren’t good enough to try out for something, too shy to ask a teacher about something in class, or you’ll never be able to go on that trip to Japan that you’ve been dreaming about forever, you’re probably right, if you aren’t doing anything about it but complaining and thinking negative thoughts. If you think positive, you might not reach your goals when you hope you will but you’ll get there eventually. And if you don’t give going for your goals a try, how will you know you could have accomplished them anyways?

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So with those same thoughts up above, you could turn those into “I’m going to make the best of this situation” “I’ll work towards my goals and achieve them”, and “I can do this”. Turning your negative thoughts into something positive, will help you out in the long run. Set goals for yourself, stick to those goals, and think positive. The road to your goals might be rough, but in the end, all of your hard work will have been worth it. You can do this!

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

On Sept. 16th I had surgery on my ankle to create a groove for my peroneal tendons and repair my retinaculum which is the connective tissue that holds the peroneal tendons in place. My tendons actually weren’t torn but they were believed to be, so that was good news! The retinaculum was extremely stretched out though, so the doctor had to cut it and then sew it back together. I just wanted to let you know that in no way am I a doctor or professional in the medical field, all of these tips were created and based off of personal experience. Recovering from surgery can be a hard thing to do, so here are my top ten ways to recover from surgery.

10. Keep yourself occupied. Watch TV, play games, read a book, talk to people, and do whatever you can to keep your mind off of pain and the surgery. You’ll be in a much better mood this way.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

9. Sleep. Sleep does wonders for your mind and body. It gives your body time to relax and heal.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

8. Check on your blood circulation often. This tip applies mostly to people who are having surgery and will be in bed or unable to move a lot for a few days after. Move your legs around, massage yourself or have someone help you, stretch, and get up, IF YOU CAN. Please don’t hurt yourself when you do this. By doing this, you’re keeping your blood moving and preventing blood clots.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

7. Take time off from work or school to recover. You should definitely not go to work or school a for a few days after surgery. You might be in pain and/or have very little energy and you don’t want to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation at work or school. Take all the time you need to feel good enough to return to work or school. It’ll still be there when you return.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

6. Stay positive. It can be really hard to have a good attitude when you’re in pain, but keep a smile on your face and think about good things and you’ll feel better and help your body heal faster.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From SurgeryTop Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

5. Eat food. Right after surgery, you might feel slightly nauseous because of the anesthesia; this varies from person to person. Make sure to take it easy on the food at first, maybe some soup or a smoothie. After a few hours or after the nausea goes away, eat whatever you want.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

4. Drink lots of water. Drinking a lot of water will keep you hydrated and flush out all of the medication and anesthesia.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Right after surgery, you’re in absolutely NO condition to do things all by yourself. Just let your friends or family know what you need and they should be supportive and willing to help you.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

2.  Relax. This tip goes along with #10 and whether you’re lying             down, sitting, or even sleeping, do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Relaxation helps ease the pain and keeps your mind off of the surgery.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery1. Follow the doctor’s orders! This one should be a no-brainer, but for some people this tip can be hard to follow. Please do what your doctor tells you to do! Stay on top of ice, elevation, medication, go to post-op appointments, and whatever else you have to do. It’ll make you heal faster and feel better.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery
Ice and elevation 😉

I hope my top ten ways to recover from surgery have been helpful or will be helpful to you in the future. 🙂 To those of you who have had surgery or are going to have surgery, I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery!

Tips For Tryouts

Whether it’s for volleyball, tennis, or whatever sport/activity you compete in, you’re going to have to tryout to make a team at some point. Tryouts can be stressful sometimes and I want to help make it easier and less stressful so here are a few tips for tryouts.

1. Relax and have fun! If you end up making the team, that’s great. And if you don’t make the team, so what? At least you had fun trying. There will be plenty of other opportunities to make teams and try other sports or activities. So knowing this, you should just relax, play your game, show off your stuff, and have fun.

2. Control what you can control. The two things you can control are your attitude and effort. You can’t control the coaches and evaluators (although that would be pretty cool), the place and time the tryouts are held at, the other people trying out, the drills you do, and so on. So many people worry about those things going into tryouts that they forget what’s really important and what they should be focused on controlling. When you focus on controlling only your attitude and effort, you perform well, feel relaxed, and have fun.

3. Wear something bright so that you stand out from the rest of the crowd. From experience, a lot of people will either wear black or white to a tryout. You want to be noticed and have the coaches and other players watching and keeping an eye on you.

4. Stay positive and don’t get down on yourself. This goes along with the first tip for tryouts. If you shank a pass or miss a layup, or hit your serve in the bottom of the net, it’s not a big deal, just as long as it isn’t happening on a consistent basis. No one’s perfect and we’re all human, so if you make a mistake figure out what you’re going to do right next time, and execute it. Relax and you’ll do fine. Also, don’t get down on yourself if you don’t end up making the team, there other teams to tryout for and other opportunities.

So when you all head into tryouts just remember to relax and have fun, control what you can control, wear something bright, and stay positive and don’t get down on yourself. I really hope these tips will help you all succeed in tryouts. Good luck and have fun!