For Student-Athletes by a Former Student-Athlete Part 5:GRIT

by by Gregory L. Gamble II

Dear readers,
It has been a pleasure providing my thoughts and feelings from the perspective of a former student-athlete over the past few months.

In sharing the 5 Principles to a complete high school and collegiate student-athlete experience, my intent has been to provide valuable principles that I feel current student-athletes should operate by. Much like the transferable skills that sport possesses, these principles became extremely relatable to a wide scope of individuals including people with no sports background.

These Principles include The Power of Self-Awareness, Possessing Leadership, The Art of Competition, Extraordinary Discipline and Stewardship, and Grit, the 5th and final principal of this series. Mastering these 5 principles not only makes you a well-rounded and complete competitor, they also keep you in a constant state of progression and growth.

Of the 5 principles, grit is my favorite. It takes an insane amount of fearlessness, fortitude, character, stick-to-it-tiveness, and determination to possess grit. Grit separates the haves from the have-nots. Not in the sense that it makes you more fortunate than anyone else, but because in order to have and to maintain anything in life, you have to posses the ability to bend and not break.

In my opinion, the most beautiful display of Grit happens during a fight. Whether realistically or metaphorically, a fight consist of a winner and a loser. During the fight, there will be some knockdowns, unfathomable blows landed and endured, positive and negative reactions to being hit hard, and the clashing of winning intentions. At some point, grit determines whether you win or lose.

In most cases, the loser improperly reacts to being knocked
down. What losers fail to understand is that a knock down does
not equate to defeat, unless you stay down. Staying down can
imply that you’ve never been down, because when winners are
knocked down, they know for a fact, that the possibility of getting
back up and actually winning exist because winners always
get up.

I’ve gotten up from life altering blows over and over again.
Some have been during physical altercations and some from
mental battles but the toughest opponent that I’ve ever fought
has been myself.

Even for me, a former student-athlete, providing you with insight on the 5 guiding principles, attempting to abide by them has been a challenge. I’ve often thought, how can I be exceptional, when my actions are ordinary?How can I lead, when I fail to follow my own guidance?

How can I tell you what’s right, when I’m focused on doing what’s wrong? And how can I identify with victory, when I’ve been consumed with defeat?

The answer is that I get up every single time I’m knocked down and every single day, I choose to be better than the day before. I make the conscious effort not to let decisions and actions, or the lack thereof, determine who I will be today.

I’ve Got Odds2Beat and for student-athletes reading this, You’ve Got Odds2Beat! I challenge You moving forward to take on all five guiding principles as a successful student-athlete. Be Aware, Be a Leader, Be Competitive, Be a Steward, Be Gritty and WIN!

Columnist Gregroy L Gamble II is a Former Student Athlete and Current Student Athlete Advocate, Educator, and Mentor . You Can Read His Full 5 Part Series here on The Challenger News .

At The Point Columnist and Student-Athlete Advocate Gregory L. Gamble II