Ad­ver­sity brings out the best in us all

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - Cory Coe­hoorn

“Ad­ver­sity in­tro­duces a man to him­self.” — Albert Ein­stein

I can­not think of a more ap­pro­pri­ate state­ment to de­scribe how an ath­lete re­sponds when ad­ver­sity comes their way. We only know our true char­ac­ter as an ath­lete, coach, or gen­er­ally as a hu­man be­ing when we face ad­ver­sity. How we re­spond tells a lot about our ex­pe­ri­ence and how that ex­pe­ri­ence has shaped us.

Who saw this past Su­per Bowl? I am as­sum­ing mostly ev­ery­one who is read­ing this sports sec­tion did.

I be­lieve that Su­per Bowl LI was the pin­na­cle of Tom Brady’s ca­reer. He sum­mited the peak of men­tal strength and sta­bil­ity and came out vic­to­ri­ous when all odds were stacked against him.

Brady started his col­lege ca­reer at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan sev­enth on the depth chart and strug­gled to get on the field. He even hired a sports psy­chol­o­gist at one point to help him with his frus­tra­tion and anx­i­ety. He ul­ti­mately over­came some of this frus­tra­tion and anx­i­ety and started every game in his fi­nal two sea­sons.

His pro­fes­sional ca­reer be­gan when he was drafted by the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots 199th over­all in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. He started his pro ca­reer a bit higher than his col­lege ca­reer in that he was sec­ond on the depth chart be­hind Drew Bled­soe. He was given the op­por­tu­nity to start in his sec­ond sea­son when Bled­soe went down with an in­jury. We all know the rest of the story fol­low­ing this point.

Brady’s ca­reer could have gone sev­eral dif­fer­ent ways; he could have tanked dur­ing his first start with the Pa­tri­ots and may have never seen the field again. Don’t get me wrong; he has had low points in his ca­reer, but ul­ti­mately, he has been on a consistent climb to the sum­mit that I spoke about ear­lier.

Dur­ing Su­per Bowl LI we saw the great­est come­back in NFL his­tory, and we may never see any­thing like it again. Brady went up and down the field in that fi­nal quar­ter and dur­ing over­time as a man on a mis­sion. This was noth­ing short of his pre­vi­ous preper­a­tion meet­ing his cur­rent op­por­tu­nity.

All ath­letes are some­where on this moun­tain of men­tal strength and sta­bil­ity. It is im­por­tant to be con­scious of how an ath­lete re­sponds to this ad­ver­sity and to have oth­ers in your life di­rect your path.

We at the Al­berta Sport De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre – South­east are very for­tu­nate to have Court­ney March­esin work­ing with us. She is a qual­i­fied men­tal skills coach and is work­ing daily with our ath­letes to help for­mat a road map for the fu­ture ad­ver­sity that our ath­letes might face.

Ein­stein en­coun­tered ad­ver­sity, and went down in his­tory as one of the greast­est sci­en­tists in his­tory. Let that man or woman look­ing back at you in the mir­ror be some­one you are proud of.

Cory Coe­hoorn is the co­or­di­na­tor of the Al­berta Sport Develp­ment Cen­tre – South­east and would love to hear from you. He can be reached via phone at 403504-3547 or via email at ccoehoorn@mhc.ab.ca. The ASDC-SE web­site can be found at mhc.ab.ca/ASDCSE.

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