This one comes to you from a coach that has positively impacted a countless number of athlete's lives. From participating in 4 sports in high school, to playing multiple positions in college, to being a head coach at two colleges with extreme tradition, to being an interim manager for the Padres, to currently sitting side by side with one of his former players, this coach has seen almost all there is to see and makes decisions with the athlete's best interest in mind. How do I know this? Because not only was he my head coach while I was at Arizona State University, but also the head coach for my brother, Tuffy Gosewisch. During Tuffy's recruiting process I stated: "If you don't choose ASU, you are making the worst decision of your life." Through the years I have come to realize that you will always be able to tell who a "Murph Guy" is.
Entering your first year of college as a student-athlete calls for making crucial adjustments. Living on your own, new teammates, coaches with standards unlike any we have known....We quickly come to reality that this program will survive with or without us.... An eruption of negative emotions can overcome us....Even more daunting is the task of dealing with our new schedule of activities....practice, meetings, strength & conditioning, study hall, travel, class, counseling sessions....Along with many other social options or distractions....It can be overwhelming....It can feel like you are on "roller skates"....Never quite grounded.
You can start to fee uncomfortable, unwanted, angry, worried, jealous, and/or overlooked. Thoughts that "the coach doesn't like me" or "I don't fit in" or "I can't be myself" or "I'm not sure if I can do this or if I'm good enough". These thoughts and negative emotions can get you off track and delay your development. After all you are embarking on the biggest lifestyle change in your life.
Remember this....you are good enough and you do belong....Getting through this is a great achievement and leads to success....You have no idea what you're capable of or what you can become at your age....Overcoming these obstacles can clarify who you are and will guide you to great levels....Most importantly you will be able to pass it on....Influence others....So don't quit....Get through it.
My two keys are:
1. Manage your time- Most important thing you can do. You are now your own gate keeper. Discipline yourself about consistent sleep and eating habits....Create a schedule and make it your guide....People who struggle waste time and develop habits which end up controlling you....Awareness of how important this concept is is crucial to your success, and will get you back on track when you stray or get influenced....Mom & Dad won't be there to do the things they've done for 18 years....This is a big deal. Commit to this concept of Time Management! You will be busy as ever with independence, but misuse of time will zap your freedom quickly and can send you in a tail spin. Clearly most of you have never dealt with it....So you really don't know what you don't know....Trust me, this is Big!!
2) Respond every time- Take action every day....Risk doing it....Don't sit back....Sure, listen & observe, but please don't sit back....Expose yourself to your teammates and coaches....Every failure, respond immediately....Don't complain or explain....Actually don't read too much into anything....Consistent responses and attitude will reveal who you are over time....Everyday is an opportunity, put past days behind you....Relinquish your polarizing selfish thoughts....Be accountable to your teammates....You have the power & responsibility to cut off your negative emotions....They don't serve you. Free yourself from all perceptions and excuses....Keep responding and connecting to you team....Isolation is not an option....Fail forward....Fear is a liar....Keep responding & believing, getting through this uncomfortable period will set you up for success.
Remember you have no idea how good you can become....So don't think about it too much....Just trust, commit, and respond every time....
Teammates are powerful....Become one! Only then will the roller skates come off.
Coach Pat Murphy