Much of life, especially in athletics, is out of our control. Decisions are made in games that athletes have absolutely no control over. Refs can choose to make calls, other players make dirty plays, coaches make decisions on lineups, and so much more. However, there is one thing that every, single athlete does have control over—their attitude.

Athletes can choose day in and day out how they will react at practice, workouts, and competitions. Of course, everyone has their “off” days, but, ultimately, it is a choice every day by that individual. No one else can make that choice for them. There is a quote by Chuck Colson that is all centered on attitude, and part of it says the following: “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it”. That is something that athletes need to really digest and use in their own careers.

Attitude, in a sense, demonstrates mental toughness and maturity. If an athlete is consistently and easily rattled, upset, or frustrated by things out of their control, it manifests itself in their individual play and shows a lack of growth. However, an athlete that is in control, consistent, and level-headed is much more successful, not to mention more respected. Being able to maintain positivity and focus under pressure or unideal circumstances is something that not many athletes can claim.

Every day is a new day to choose your attitude as an athlete, so choose today to make the difference in your own play. Be an example to your teammates and coaches by how you carry yourself day in and day out.

Taylor Rowden is a Strength Coach at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, California. Taylor graduated from the Master’s University with a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on sports injury and exercise science. She was also a member of the Women’s Soccer Team.