Those of you reading this from the sports world are familiar with the term “redshirt year”. If you’re new to the term, it means a season which a player isn’t eligible for competition, with the expectation that he or she will improve and develop to prepare for the next season. Redshirt years can occur for a variety of reasons. However, in this post I want to share some ways to attack a redshirt season. Why? Because life also has it’s redshirt seasons as well – a period of time when you’re away from the “game” (or career) that you’re used to competing in. Once again…..ball is life.
- DEVELOP A PLAN – I love the phrase “begin with the end in mind”. That’s the first step in approaching a redshirt season. How do you want the final picture of yourself to look? Other than the actual action steps, this piece is crucial and worth the thought time. If you have 6 hours to chop down a tree, spend 5 hours sharpening your ax.
- NURTURE YOUR SPIRIT – Growing in your faith (whatever your means of spiritual guidance may be) is the cornerstone of a redshirt year. For me, it’s investing in my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. While far from perfect, my faith journey has provided an anchor for me. My goal isn’t to be preachy but just to share my own personal approach here. Your faith – invested in daily – will give you a deeper perspective on your situation. It will also give you a boost of courage to keep going on those days when you feel like your “season” will never end. Find a “quiet time” in the mornings and make growing your faith part of your routine.
- SHARPEN YOUR MIND – A quiet mind builds clarity. One of my ways to do this is daily meditation. “HEADSPACE” is a great app that I would recommend for anyone in any field. I do 10 minutes a day in the mornings. Another way to sharpen your mental “sword” is reading. Choose a book that’s in your field of interest or preferably out of it. Reading “stretches” your mind, makes you think, and may even challenge you. My current “non-basketball” book is “Rather Outspoken”, which describes the life journey of former CBS anchor Dan Rather – arguably the greatest television journalist of all time. It’s absolutely fascinating.
- STRENGTHEN YOUR BODY – Find time for daily physical activity. For the basketball player redshirting this is easy. The strength coach will make sure that player is bigger, faster, and stronger. For the business person away from the game, a physical routine is just as important. You have no idea what your next opportunity may bring. But knowing that you are physically stronger and in better health and condition?….this builds the confidence in yourself to not have to get ready, but stay ready.
- IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT – Whatever your field or specialty, find a way to work on your craft – even though it’s not “for” a team or firm at the moment. It’s for you. Again, players know that getting in the gym is a part of their redshirt year. I have been watching basketball games on Synergy 4 to 5 days a week. Teams of all levels. College, NBA and Euro teams. It’s helped me greatly to keep an eye on how basketball is currently trending.
- GROW UNTIL IT’S GO TIME – Much like coming off the bench, you’re preparing for a moment that may come, but you don’t know when. Free agents in professional sports like to use the phrase “work on your game until the phone rings”. I love that. Because that’s the deal. Stay with it. Stay with on the days you feel positive. Stay with it on the lonely days. Just stay with it. Because in sports or life, you just never know. Finally, encourage those who may be going through the same journey. Your boosts will lift them up and remind you that you’re not alone.
I hope these nuggets help you, no matter what “season” of life you’re in. I happen to be in my own redshirt season. And while I have no clue what the future holds, I know God never says “oops”. Whatever brought you to this redshirt season has passed, the future will come when it comes. In the meantime, stay on the attack daily, and chase the ending that you began with. All the best to you for 2020! Thanks so much for reading my blog!
Happy New Year! 🥂