Today is a special day to express our gratitude to all who have served and currently serve in our nation’s military. When we think of our veterans and service members, a few words often come to mind – dedication, focus, adaptability. The same words apply to athletes — the parallels between and commonalities among both athletes and armed forces members are amazing to consider.
In honor of Veterans Day, Omari shared a few insights on connective traits between service duty members and Athletes for Life.
Committing yourself to a mission and remaining focused on both short-term and long-term goals throughout the journey and transitions exist within both worlds of sports and the military. Near-term goals are critical to accomplishing your long-term goals, as they feed each other, propelling you towards the ultimate finish line.
“I do what I have to do. I came here to do a job, and I’ll see it through. When I commit myself to something, I’ll get it done no matter what.” Conditioning your mind to maintain perseverance and dedication throughout the mission leads to success. When you commit your best self, your ALL, the outcome is rewarding. When you know you gave your all, whatever the outcome may be, you’ve succeeded.
Adapting to New Seasons of Life
During my career as a student-athlete, I learned how to revamp, retool, and reboot throughout life. When I faced the reality of shifting my life’s purpose from playing professional basketball to following a life of service, I was forced to re-invent myself. But I embraced the challenge, and as long as you approach a new phase with the same determination, focus, and vigor — when you do it for the right reasons, regardless of the outcome, you win.
Harnessing Sports as a Healthy Outlet
For both Athletes and Veterans, keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy is even more so important while transitioning from one phase to the next. For anyone used to being on “go mode”, the worst thing you can do is stop, and sports allows you to remain active. You can be a different type of athlete in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, but you’re never too old to set new challenges for yourself — and better yet, accomplish those goals. The Athlete for Life approach is just that! One of my new goals moving forward is to focus on my nutrition — fueling both the body and the mind to be my best self.