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Athlete Blog

Maintaining a mentality

February 9, 2017

As you journey through college, you will experience a lot of things that will slowly influence you.

You might see something, or your crowd might do something, or maybe a certain situation pops up and everyone reacts to it and you feel compelled to join the crowd. All of the external influences can be good and bad. I’m going to help you find the right mentality to live by, and how to make the right impact on your future.

Find and analyze a role model.

I understand that a lot of people go through college trying to figure themselves out, and aren’t sure what they want to be or what they want to do. I did have that phase for a brief period of time, but thankfully RIT opened some doors for me. But in the process, you need to have a visible picture of your future self at some point. It oftentimes can be achieved by having a role model. I have some people who I look up to, and I try and find a common thread between my role models and myself and build on that common thread.

I studied my role models, and tried to find what made them stand out. I did my homework on each one of them, and started mixing and matching their best traits into my daily endeavors. I would recommend that you identify some of your biggest role models, and study how they approach certain things or situations. Study how they walk. How they talk. How they act around others and by themselves. What makes them great? Find that answer.

Ask yourself the three questions.

“How can this help me improve myself?”, “Will this help us improve as a team?”, and “What are the other options?” These three questions float around in my head when I’m on a roll. For example, I would ask myself the first question if I’m staring at a gigantic tub of ice cream. Would that help me improve my physical fitness, so I can perform better as a baseball player? Probably not. If your buddies want to do something, ask yourself this, and see if your internal compass agrees with you or not. Stick with your gut, and make the right decision for yourself even though it might not be the “cool” thing to do.

This kind of thinking helped guide my personal decisions—from managing my diet and doing homework assignments, to going to sleep at a reasonable hour. The second question is when I’m in a leadership role, and we’re about to make a decision as a team. I would ask myself and see how I personally feel about the decision. Will this help the team chemistry? If I’m able to buy in myself, chances are that I will be able to get the rest of the team to buy in. If I’m not feeling confident about the decision, I would try and explore other options.

Find ways to motivate yourself.

You can ask my roommates and see what they tell you about how I decorate our apartment or my bedroom. It’s peppered with different images, quotes, and symbols that gets a rise out of me. Each one of them has a way of motivating me to attack my day, do the best I can, and so on. I encourage you to explore the internet, keep an open eye for something that catches your eyes and gives you motivation. If you find something, keep them in your sight daily. For example, when I was living in the dorms I put my pictures right next to where my pillow was. It was right there in my face when I wake up and when I go to sleep. I put stuff on my refrigerator, so I see it when I get my food, and in the office when I write this blog. Find something that tells you to bring the juice, and keep it in your line of sight every day.