Rejection in sport is commonplace.
Such is the competitive nature of each sport that athletes meet rejection head-on from their very first participation.
In team sports a coach might not believe in an individual's ability and will consistently pick them last or cut them. Not making the cut is the harshest rejection of all in sport. How does a parent console them when they cannot accept the fact themselves that their child is not good enough? This can cause extreme problems at home when the parent is a pushy one forcing their child to compete.
Sport is often the first devastating rejection an individual encounters in their lifetime.
Even if they do make the cut, it is not the end of their problems. The team themselves might believe the new recruit is not enough of an asset to give them a chance. This instantly casts the individual into the shadows of rejection. This collective effort by the team to crush someone's dream manifests itself in systematic bullying. They are picked on and pushed around for having the audacity to think they could belong.
If they choose an individual sport, they will quickly discover how difficult their journey will be. The odds are so stacked against them, that even trying to compete, seems a futile exercise. Furthermore, the additional challenges of trying to fund themselves for an individual sport can put massive pressure on their home life as supportive parents struggle to raise the required funding. As a result, the economic status of their parents could determine the end of their dream. The psychological impact on the individual in these cases can be extreme. How does one go through life knowing their dream of competing was cut short by funding, not talent?
Yet, in spite of these odds, athletes around the world continue to demonstrate an unyielding desire to succeed.
Regardless of the restrictions, whether they be economic, personal bests, disabilities, networking, or sheer stamina, an athlete with a dream is a tough individual to deter.
They develop a thick skin from an early age. They see rejection as just another reason to persist. Athletes understand that adversity is a necessary requirement. If they dig their heels in and persevere through the hardships they will achieve their goal. Because no one has a right to kill their dream. The only thing that can kill their dream is quitting.
Derrick left his doubters in the dust, gazing up at the glint of his Super Bowl ring. Like so many before him, he knew that rejection was no excuse to quit. If you want a dream badly enough, then overcoming the challenges ahead, is an intrinsic part of your quest.
"Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent's pressure, and the temporary failures." Vince Lombardi