Eliminate the fearful story.  Brave people have strong minds. They don’t allow stories of fear to flash across their thoughts.  The mind is lightening quick.  In a matter of milliseconds when you are handed the ball at the free throw line, you can have pictured a fearful story of missing the shot with images of disappointed faces bombarding your thoughts. Keep fearful stories out of your mind.

Don’t play god. You cannot read someone’s mind. Brave people do not assume others are talking negatively about them, or criticizing them. It’s not on their radar. You can’t know for certain what another person is thinking. You don’t know fully what your coach thinks about you. Don’t guess and don’t pretend to read minds, use your brain for more productive work.

Practice crucial moments.  All games have crucial moments. Know what these are. Practice for them. Lie in bed and try to imagine the crucial moment as clearly as you can. Repeat in your mind an image of yourself being brave in that crucial moment. Try and do 10 perfectly imagined reps in your mind.

Speak words of power. You are what you repeatedly do. If you find yourself getting nervous, use words to change your world.  Instead of thoughts such as, “I’m so nervous.”  Speak to yourself, “My body is prepared for this moment. I am ready. I am confident.”  Act and speak with bravery and your feelings will follow.

Don’t fear pain. Many younger athletes fear pain. They are scared to work hard, they are tentative. One great lesson to remember is that no discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful, later on however it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those trained by it. The pain of hard work strengthens us and gives us what we need to play better. Remember…no pain, no gain.

“Just as men become builders by building and lyre-players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”  – Aristotle

The word bravery came into usage around 1540 and was used to mean daring. It comes from the Spanish word, “bravo,” meaning bold.  Bravery is a quality we all aspire to have. We hope that if we should encounter a dangerous situation which requires immediate action, we would be able to act with courage and without hesitation. Bravery is a quality revealed during frightening or serious situations.

We can rest assured that we will meet those intensified life situations well, if we choose to practice the virtue of bravery. Aristotle says, “We are what we repeatedly do.”  Virtue, like all skills, are developed through repetition, and though we cannot always practice specifically for serious situations, our everyday small choices of bravery are building in our character the fortitude to meet danger with courage.

Be brave by doing brave acts. Your actions are preparing you for greater moments.

There is no glory in practice, but without practice there is no glory.

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