"Off the post, off the crossbar, I simply can't hit the target today! The goal looks so small today but I know all this is in my head. I have to be consistent with my work ethic and keep my faith in God and in my own abilities. I will be better for it". This is a conversation I have had with myself more times that I would like to admit. The truth is consistency is paramount to success. In my line of work, consistency means bringing the same high intensity and commitment to not only games but also to training as well. The greatest players are also the most consistent. Day in and day out, week in week out, game after game and season after season. They crave winning so bad that they are willing to go through the toil at their maximum capacity every single day. Whether it is a good or bad day they always work their socks off! That bit is guaranteed! You know exactly what to expect from them on any given day; 110% commitment; everything they have and then a bit more.
Mental strength is a big part of being consistent. Just like you hit the gym to work on your muscles, you need to train your mind as well. For me I do this by reading books on sports psychology and implementing them in order to see which ones work for me. Relentless by Tim Grover is a great example of a book that changed my life and I highly recommend it. For example, in the last bit of training I'll challenge myself to sprint harder no matter how tired I might be feeling and cover more ground. I'll also challenge myself to defend more aggressively because I don't want to lose a 1v1. Truth is I have gotten to a point where I am constantly challenging myself mentally and physically and that's what works for me.
Find what works for you and work on being consistent. Remember that you will have bad days but do not ever let that get in the way of how much effort you give! You control that always! Why be average and be like everyone else when you can be great? Consistency is key.