Rachael had her head down throughout the beginning of the lift and I could tell that she wasn’t herself. She did little to motivate her partner nor did she respond to the vibrant enthusiasm her partner Taylor was giving her.
“Rachael, may I speak with you?” I said.
Rachael and I stood in the corner of the weight room away from her teammates who were grinding through a rather exhausting lifting session.
“I noticed you haven’t been yourself today”.
“Taylor needs you to motivate her, as you have a responsibility to your partner. She needs the reinforcement that you provide. Your teammates also need you to ‘right the ship’ and maintain stability and leadership throughout this season” I shared.
She turned her back and began to sob.
“I ask three simple things from you each and every time any athlete reports into this weight room. First I ask for you to be a great team leader and/or team mate. Next I expect you to prepare ruthlessly every single day to fill either role. Lastly, I and your teammates like Taylor, need you to leave your baggage at the door and accomplish those missions.”
She wiped the streams of tears from her face and immediately started a transformation. It was as if she was doing farmer’s walks with 200lbs of additional baggage and stress.
There are many days where things will go wrong. The world will look bleak. Flat tires, car batteries, failed tests, and never ending school projects. Learning how to handle that emotional stress is ‘strength training’ for understanding how to handle the harder bumps in the road; like losing a close friend, a failed relationship, a death of parent or family member, and so on.
No matter the circumstances, when you are a part of a team or organization that relies on your talents and abilities, there will be many days where you need to learn how to leave your baggage at the door and perform to your highest capabilities.