For a Long time I’ve believed that the perfect athlete was something close to a machine. A machine that doesn’t feel pain, doesn’t get tired nor gets distracted by any of the big range of emotions we have as humans. Being a machine means you are programmed to do a specific job, and by narrowing you focus so much, you reduce the margin of error to the minimum. Who wouldn’t want that?
After a while I’ve understood that being a professional athlete is quite the opposite of getting close to being a machine/robot. It is weird to think that what makes an athlete so efficient and successful are his or her emotions, besides the fact that they makes us unique and differ from each other. That’s why “Emotional intelligence” exists, it allows you to recognize every emotion and use it in your favor.
When I feel like my legs don’t work any more and I’m about to have a heart attack, the love towards my family is what allows me to keep working. When I’m strengthening and feel like my muscle is about tare in a million pieces, remembering what it feels to be lying in my bed after surgery and not being able to even go to the bathroom by myself, gives me that extra push I need to complete the exercise. And on those early mornings when I wish I could sleep a little more, the love for the game and the amazing feeling of winning gets my energy up and ready to go and train.
Enjoy every emotion both in and out the field. Live every emotion and learn from it. Feel every success as well as every loss. Don’t go crazy celebrating but also don’t go crazy criticizing yourself and feeling bad about it. Simply live, feel and taste every single bitter sweet moment in your life and allow it to motivate you to keep going and working for what you want in life. It is because of this that experience is the most important aspect of learning, because only you get to really feel it.