So there’s this one guy on Effective who is KILLING IT. He is usually in the Top 30 rankings and generally a very dedicated, consistent member. The type of Effective fam guy we all love to hear and see from.
But this 17-year old recently hit a crossroads in his life.
He said to me:
“Hey Nick - I am questioning what I should do next year as I enter Year 12. I don’t know if I should coach, play for a club or just train for a year and study?
My Mum is getting really strict on me focusing and today just said to me “you aren’t going to make it as a pro footballer, you should focus your energy on something else like studying."
I’m also starting to lose passion to play, I’m not sure why but I’m not as motivated to start training next week either..
I’m lacking motivation at this point and not sure why.
Maybe I’m not the right footballer and don’t have enough to go pro in some part of the world?
What are your thoughts?”
And here was my response:
What to do when you don't know what to do
Hey! Good question man. You're at a point in your life where you have to make tough decisions about your future.
You are facing a series of hoops you either jump through or don't.
If it's not your Mum, then it can be injury, or rejection, or getting dropped, or being unhappy at a club.
If you really want to make it as a footballer you will go through these tough tests.
So you have to find your "why"
Why do you play football?
Why do you get up at 6am to train?
Why do you sacrifice these other things to play?
What do you do it for?
Me personally - I do it because I like challenges and there's no greater challenge in the world for me than becoming a professional because I and others always used to think it was never possible.
Everybody's why is different.
And this why probably won't come immediately to you. You might need to think about it a bit...
Go for a walk.
Get some alone time and just really think about why you want to play professionally.
If you find out your why is because you want fame or fortune, you won't last long. These kind of motivations will never stand the test of time and you need to put a tremendous amount of time into becoming a professional in anything.
It won't make you happy in the long-term either.
So my advice is this: Really listen to your inner self.
Just have a conversation with yourself and think what is it that you really want.
If a couple of days or weeks later, the answer comes back in a way where you believe you are more passionate about something else like coaching, then cool! Focus your energy on that and continue playing and training without that specific professional ambition in mind.
Why continuing to train is important in any case
Any training you do will always be worth it because you will continue developing your winners mindset.
Its no wonder why many people in high level positions in the business world are ultramarathon runners, avid sports lovers, or are indeed former high-level athletes,
Sport is important to them and they’re committed to being the best that they can be within the scope of their limitations – other life commitments, finances, time, and their own motivation.
And that's what the Effective Fam is all about! WE set high goals for ourselves and train hard! WE are successful because WE pursue our goals and enjoy what we do. Training enriches our lives and WE believe that what we get back is worth what WE put into this game.
WE also believe that our work is worthwhile because the same mental skills that athletes use in achieving success in sports can be used to achieve success in other areas of our lives.
Continue to follow your heart
In any case, follow your heart and always keep in check that you're really doing what YOU want to do, not what others want you to do.
Here's a great article I wrote recently with some more on this.
Two months later, our guy got back to me!
"Nick, I'm gonna stick with it, gonna keep pushing and try do something special- i don’t care where I play (country) but I want to play professionally in a league because I love the journey- I love the ups and the downs are tough but the downs always lead to ups!
I’m going to give it my best and see where it takes me, gonna be hard but I don’t want to look back and regret not giving it my best - I’m still young!"
Well done on coming to a conclusion mate.
Its these kind of questions force you to really deeply think about why you do the things you do
And that's what develops your maturity as a player and a person.
Keep going, stay effective.