Remembering a Legend

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The recent passing of baseball legend and San Diego hometown hero Tony Gwynn has impacted many, many people.  He was one of the most respected baseball players not just in San Diego, but throughout all of Major League Baseball.  Tony Gwynn had many famous quotes, but one of my favorites is:

“Remember these two things: play hard and have fun.”

– Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn always recognized the importance of the mental component of baseball, which is why playing hard and having fun are certainly two things that an athlete should think about when playing their sport.  Of course, it is always important to play hard and have a good work ethic; but what I like most about his quote is the second half where he reminds the athlete to simply have fun.

As an athlete, you always should think about why you began playing your sport in the first place and what you like about it most.  If you’ve been playing your sport for many years, there must be a reason WHY you continue to play it.  Otherwise, you probably would not have continued to play it.

As a competitive athlete, there can be times when playing your sport is not fun.  For example, the pressure that you feel to perform at a high level, the anxiety that you may experience just prior to your performance, or having to travel and be far away from your friends and family as a result of your sport.  No matter what the cause is for your discontent, I try to get athletes to think about why they began playing the sport and to focus on the things that they like about playing their sport rather than dwelling on the negatives.

Sports are simply games, and games are meant to be FUN!  If you are finding that you are not having fun playing your sport, try to remember why you started playing in the first place and focusing on what you like most about your sport.  And, as Tony Gwynn stated, remember to always have fun!

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Kimberly Wagner, Psy.D. PSY 25460
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