I hope your week is off to a great start and you are enjoying the holidays if you are celebrating!
Over the weekend our family went to choose our Christmas tree. The boys were a big help picking out the ‘perfect’ one!
This time of year is always filled with reflection, what we accomplished, what we wish we did better, and what we are going to set out to do in the new year.
I would encourage each of you to take some time to self-reflect and start setting goals for 2020.
Are you going to try out for a new soccer team? Start a new business? Repair a broken relationship with someone else, yourself?
No matter what goals you are setting, and what temporary obstacles you are facing, remember that if you follow the 3 S’s of Self Awareness (self-honesty, self-initiative, and self-accountability) you are setting yourself up well for success!
I’m happy to share that we just recorded EPISODE 50 of the #AskASoccerPro Show! I want to personally thank you for all of your support, tuning in and your reviews over on the podcast.
I’m looking forward to sharing 50 more great episodes where we can learn and grow together as a community.
We tackled some really tough topics this week, and the show got really deep. I even extended the length of our live on Instagram to cover everything. I wanted to share with you a few of the subjects we discussed. I had to exercise some real self-honesty this week too.
How to Cope with Depression
One of our community members, Mario, asked me this week if I’ve ever felt depressed. I have. And to anyone dealing with depression, I hear you. It’s a real thing when you are feeling those negative forces and feeling like things just aren’t going to work out. Feeling depressed is sometimes a part of life, but that doesn’t mean you are alone in coping with it.
I think that it’s important to feel those feelings, recognize them, acknowledge them, and accept them. A lot of people spend time denying those feelings and running away from them. For me, I lean into it. I want to feel and accept those difficult emotions so I can better understand myself and become stronger. Understanding myself and why I’m feeling depressed helps me to become clearer on the reasons I want to pursue happiness.
To really truly appreciate something, you have to experience difficulty on the way there. But, being depressed can turn into a downward spiral if we aren’t careful. When we are feeling depressed, we do less of what we love, and when we do less of what we love we tend to feel worse and worse. It’s a dangerous downward cycle.
If we become more self-aware and learn when we are beginning to go down the path toward depression, we can use mental models we have put in place to create stop losses. (Shout out my stock nerds out there!) Having a plan in place where we can turn to the people we care about, the things we are confident in, good at, and proud of to help catch us from heading down the dark road of depression.
When I start to get in a dark place, I try to do the little things I am confident in, that I really love doing, to turn myself around. Really, these can be the smallest things. If you feel like you’re in a space where, maybe you just want to curl up in a ball and be alone, isolated for hours or days, as you’re getting those feelings is when your stop losses are going to come into play.
You make yourself a promise, that when you start to feel that way if those emotions are starting to get the best of you, that you’re going to do something small that you know brings you some happiness. It could be watching ten minutes of a show you love or playing your favorite video game.
The key to this is what you promise yourself to do once you’ve had your 10 minutes. You then promise and keep your promise to yourself, “after I’ve done my 10 minutes, I then must do something that is good for me and will benefit me in the long run for 30 minutes.”
We’re going to use these little things, like our favorite show, as a reward for recognizing and accepting our feelings, but we aren’t going to let them push us into hours of mindless binge-watching or other vices. This is why we put a time limit in place, and then make it a habit to turn to something that will benefit us in the long run.
I’m really happy that people are starting to talk about mental health and that we as a society are acknowledging mental health as a legitimate concern. I’m concerned that we aren’t spending enough time helping people learn the self-awareness and mental models to recognize and cope with depression and mental illness. This is even more severe, because I understand that not everyone has the resources to immediately seek out a psychologist.
I’m really grateful to Mario, again, for asking me this question. If anyone reading this is in distress, I would ask you, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Asking for help is not showing weakness, it is showing strength. You are important to our community and we are here to support you.
How To Kill Internet Trolls
Since we are here fighting back against depression, I want to talk about how to deal with people who bring negativity into your life. So, here is a mini-class on how to stop those internet trolls!
Step one, any time anyone says anything negative to you online, all you have to do is drop that ‘I’m in your head’ emoji, you know the one! ?????
We are taking the negativity and hate and spinning it into positive energy that we can use to lift ourselves up to achieve our goals.
So, any time someone comes at you, just drop them that emoji and wait. One of two things is going to happen. One, they might not know what it means, and that’s just going to confuse them, which may mean they come at you with more hate.
So, you’re going to drop that emoji again and again.
Eventually, they are going to get frustrated and ask you what it means. All you have to do is type, ‘I’m in your head. #MSL.’ Once that happens, you win. You are officially registered in their head. Don’t explain anything to them, make them do the research. They’re going to look it up and find out what it means.
If they ever come back, you’re already in their head. You’ve won. MSL baby, that’s how you kill the internet trolls!
Mental Strength Coaching
I’m officially mental strength coaching players to help them be their best, on and off the field. It’s so exciting to see the number of players who value their mental strength grow with each passing week!
Right now I’m coaching:
Earl Edwards Jr.
Other players I’ve worked with:
Chris Durkin (Durkin joined the #AskASoccerPro Show ep. 34 to talk about his mentality and how to deal with the haters. You can catch the replay here.
Griffin Yow (Griff joined the #AskASoccerPro Show ep. 29 to talk about his mentality and what it was like signing a professional contract at the age of 16. You can catch the replay here.
Check out this week’s replay and clips of the #AskASoccerPro Show over on YouTube:
Blog: How to Cope With Depression I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 050
How to Cope With Depression I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 050
Advice to Youth Soccer Players I #AskASoccerPro Mini-Blog
Zlatan in My Back Pocket #MSL > MLS I #AskASoccerPro Mini-Blog
Where to Start With Self-Reflection I #AskASoccerPro Mini-Blog
Ego and the Learning Curve I #AskASoccerPro Mini-Blog
Adapt or Die! | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
Advice To Youth Players | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
Balancing School and Soccer | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
Rumors! | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
The $100 Example | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
Creating A Win Win | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
Zlatan In My Back Pocket | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
Ego and The Learning Curve | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 049
Where To Start With Self Reflection
Thank you for catching up with me this week! I’m looking forward to hearing from you on social media (especially Twitter @QuincyAmarikwa), and I look forward to seeing your questions for the next episode of #AskASoccerPro Show!
Mental Strength Coach (And master of the dark arts) MSL – Mental Strength League