A happy Monday to you all. As the grass begins to grow and flowers start to bloom here in Michigan, it serves as a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us. As we part with the cold weather and learn to live in our seemingly new normal under Covid-19 restrictions, we must continue to believe that what lies ahead of us is a prosperous future. For those that are struggling in isolation, this mindset will help you overcome.
Building off of last weeks blog, I wanted to elaborate more on society’s fear of failure. The more I think about it, the more I liken the word failure to the capping of ones potential. It is a threat or a way for society to tell you to stay in your comfort zone. Nonsense, you just will not get better if you don’t fall down every once in a while and learn to pick yourself back up. It hardens you and makes you more resilient.
I have been fortunate to have learned many lessons so far on my journey through sports. As you might recall from last week, I was finally awarded a place at a professional youth academy at the age of 16. This was after years of effort, blood, sweat and tears. I had faced rejection and told I wasn’t good enough. I just didn’t want to take no for an answer. After two fantastic years at Yeovil Town and winning a national county championship with Somerset Schools I had signed for Plymouth Argyle. This was the club I had supported all my life. I had two amazing years at Plymouth playing alongside some top players in the youth and reserve teams and often being called up to train with the first team. The atmosphere at the club was incredible after being promoted twice in three years and finding ourselves in the championship (one league below the Premier League). I came close to a first team appearance after a successful spell in the reserves but it wasn’t to be and at the end of my two years, my contract had expired and got called into the office and was told I was “surplus to requirements” by Bobby Williamson. I was devastated. Not too long after, the club had arranged for me to fly out to Sweden and play for a small team called Ytterhogdahl. I remained focused and didn’t have time to dwell.
Following a two month spell, I returned home and continued my search for a contract back home. I spent a week on trial at Grimsby, a trial at Motherwell under the guidance of Terry Butcher, England legend and another spell at Yeovil town. All three were unsuccessful. After short spells at Margate and Kettering in the Conference it was time to consider an alternative path. That path led me to the USA.
The meaning of the above?
Looking back now and as disappointed as I was, I never once thought about quitting. My years of training had programmed me to be mentally tough. I kept coming back and remained persistent in my search for betterment. To this very day, that has not changed and for those of you considering this message, it is not too late to accomplish that task, not too late to dream, nor too late to improve yourself. Get yourself out for a walk this week, seek inspiration, find time to read good books, learn more about what you are passionate about and encourage others to do the same. If you fail a little along the way, do not get discouraged, it’s okay to feel uncomfortable. Pick yourself up and go again!
In closing and chatting with a fellow coach this past week we touched upon Michael Jordan and what a brilliant athlete he was, I was forwarded this quote:
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
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Thanks for reading and may this blog serve as a reminder that it's what you do in the face of adversity that defines you. When one door closes another door will open. Have faith and be brave in your decision making. Summit Up! You've got this.
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Quote for the week
"Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm"
Dan Bulley has dedicated his life to youth development through his own experiences and living in football/soccer. Having played at professional clubs in England and been on 4 continents, Dan has settled in the U.S and is currently the owner of DBSS (Dan Bulley Soccer School). He carries a bachelors degree in sociology and a masters degree in coaching sports performance. Dan created Summit Up! to motivate and inspire both youth and adults to maximize their potential and to spark a strength of mind when the going gets tough. "The journey to your summit has only just began." Summit Up!