Life After Being A Division One Athlete

My whole life I have seen myself as an athlete. From the days that I can remember to the days that I live today, it has always been as an athlete. Playing it for so long is something that has defined the person that I am today.

In this blog post, I will talk about the life after Division 1 athletics and things that hinder the growth of many college soccer players around the nation that lead to giving up on the sport.

Being an athlete particularly a soccer player was easy because not only did I love playing but I always was pretty good at it. What I didn’t plan for was what would happen to my identify if I didn’t play soccer anymore.

In high school, soccer became more important to my identity than ever. Being a freshman, I played soccer and ran track as well.

Corinth Holders Soccer 2015
Corinth Holders Soccer 2015

All the way to my senior year, I was recruited to play Division 1 soccer. All the hard work I had put had finally been paid off. The whole time I would play, the thought of being able to play Division 1 soccer was the whole goal.

Everyone on my club team strived for the same goal…..to play at the next level. Sports had mattered to me for so long that whenever getting that opportunity to play in college meant that is was well worth it.

My schoolwork was important as well but I never really pushed myself to do better than the requirements. I personally felt that I couldn’t find an identity in the classroom. I never really like going the extra mile, studying, and sometimes even doing homework due to soccer being a priority over school. Don’t get me wrong, I was a good student that received good grades, but yet, my mind most of the time would be filled with thoughts elsewhere.

After having different considerations, I chose Appalachian State would be the best fit for me in athletics and academics. I liked the scene in Boone and the mountains are what made it for me.

What Doing College at Appalachian State Is About – Boone, NC

The Start of College Athletics

Appalachian State Men's Soccer Fall 2016
Appalachian State Men’s Soccer Fall 2016

When I started this whole “college athlete” back in August 2016, I had many competitive factors involved, but in my mind, I was determined to work hard. I would push myself but found myself finishing near to last in many of our training.

The thought of doubt once again worked its way into my head. I began to think “why can’t I see success in something that was important to me?”

With having struggles finding success on the field, the coaching staff was everything but helpful in my situation. Instead of going for a sense of motivation and feedback, I was given very negative and pessimistic views.

It seems as, in collegiate soccer, the level of coaching goes down and coaches only focus on the factors that DON’T make a good soccer player. Training would focus on fitness levels rather than technical drills. In my honest opinion, yes you do need to have a strong fitness level but it is a waste if you have good fitness but can’t even complete a pass.

I was some of the few players that had a strong technical ability but as fitness was emphasized the most than any factor, I began to face struggles in the long run.

There was not one moment on the field that I did something good or was making strides to our ultimate goal. It was always negative and as a player, you get discouraged.

I face this struggle amongst other players that have been in my shoes. The misfortune of not finding joy in the game that you have always loved and played was beginning to fade for me.

I no longer saw joy in playing and every morning the thought of training was seen as a daunting task then an event I would look forward to in pre-college years.

Although I was faced with loads of adversity, I knew that I could not give up that easily on my goals.

Throughout the season, I had been making strides on my fitness, technical ability and my overall winning mindset that was engraved every minute of the day.

I noticed huge changes in my fitness and style of play after a working season at Appalachian. The time came for the 1-month off-season of winter break and I knew this was a huge opportunity for me. There was only one goal the whole break and that was to achieve the holy grail of our fitness test, the 2-mile, 1-mile, 1-mile. 

Fitness Test of Utter Death

Life of Pedro Segundo
Fitness Test for Appalachian State Men’s Soccer

Our fitness test consisted of

  • 2 miles under 12 minutes
  • 6-minute break
  • Another 1 mile under 6 minutes 
  • 6-minute break
  • And Another 1 more mile under 6 minutes 

Boy, was this a nightmare!

Now think about the physical and mental capacity you need to have to accomplish this. It’s nuts! Comment down below if you are able to run this today. I’m curious to see who is able to do this if there is any Jake Chasteen’s reading this right now.

During the pre-season, I finished with a 12:52 two-mile, 6:45 mile, 6:39 mile. These were pretty good results but they weren’t enough to compete at the Division 1 level. During our winter break, I knew this was the chance for me to come back stronger.

Working on fitness every day and making huge improvements on this test, I knew coming back on the first day of the off-season was up for grabs.

First day back, I was so determined and ready to push myself to reach the holy grail of making the desired times for the test.

Unfortunately, the day leading up to the test, I had torn my hamstring and was unable to participate. The nerve-wreck of emotions that followed was awful. I felt very disappointed in myself because of all the work I had put in was ultimately put to waste with solely an injury.  Constant thoughts of failure were rotating in my mind and I just did not feel the same as a player after this.

Struggling to reach peak form after the injury was extremely hard for me. As small re-injuries occurred and fear of tearing my hamstring again prevented my growth to reach my previous form. With the help of such amazing athletic trainers such as Ben Shabb, I had gotten back to form but with little over a month left of the off-season, it had been too late.

Soccer, which once felt so important to me, started to feel like it was holding me back.

Although still on the roster, I no longer felt like I was of the Appalachian State Soccer Team. As the spring term came to an end, I made the decision to not be an athlete anymore. I was extremely afraid to quit, as I had never quit much anything before especially soccer, but I knew that it was the right decision for me at the time.

Life After College Athletics

The summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year of college was extremely reflective for me. With my parents, reminding me constantly that if the decision I made would to be the right one. Friends always asking me if I still play soccer at App State and having to say no was extremely shocking for a lot of people. Due to the reason because everyone knew me because of soccer. It was kind of weird not associating myself as an athlete anymore, to be honest.

For those few months, I didn’t know how to spend my time. There were large parts of my day that I had never had free before. When soccer no longer seemed as important to me, I began to learn that there were many other parts to my identity that I had not yet explored much.

Playing soccer had stripped so much from my social life that the majority of my friends were either soccer players or other athletes. Being tied down to the sport limited me to make other friends.

Many people believe that athletes live a privileged existence, although that may be true to some extent the reason being is that college athletics is more of a job. It’s not this all mighty peak and status quo but it’s literally a job. Logging in more than 40 hours of week is something that I physically/mentally demanding to a young player.

You Are More Than Just an Athlete

It has been over a year since not playing collegiate soccer, and quite frankly I am happier at Appalachian than ever before. I didn’t know if I would like college without having soccer in the equation. It was made clear to me that I am so much more than just an athlete and that Appalachian has way more to offer than just sports for me.

I began to explore the academics side of it. With being an athlete, you don’t have much time to join new clubs, participate in extracurriculars, or even take more courses to get ahead. My whole freshman year was dedicated solely to soccer and taking the minimum amount of coursework. I never went out of my way to join new clubs or to put myself out there as I did in high school where I was a part of 5 clubs in my senior year.

Although in my second year, I was able to join new clubs, meet new friends, and load up my coursework. I started to feel the spark again in nurturing my mind rather than with sports but with school as school can be fun if you know how to balance it.

FINDING JOY AGAIN IN THE SPORT 

I got so caught up in trying to be successful in the sport that I forgot why soccer mattered to me so much in the first place.

The best part about not playing anymore is that I was able to play soccer for fun again. After years of obsessive training and competing, it has been such a relief for me to be able to play for fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I still play soccer but it’s not at a high demand as Division 1 soccer was. I still play intramurals with my ex-teammates (pictured below) and club soccer that has given me the chance to meet cool new people that love the sport like I do.

Appalachian State University Soccer at Alpha Phi Tournament
Using our talents to secure Comeback Shack Gift Cards

Now, I am able to play with my friends and have fun without having the thought of “getting better” each time I played. Instead, I enjoy what is around me and I live in the moment.

Not being able to play has given me time to reflect on what my image and what I will become without soccer. My whole life I pictured of being a professional in the sport but realistic expectations were otherwise.

I now dedicate my time to improving my academics, networking, and finding other ways to achieve the happiness that soccer once brought into my life. One of those examples is the Life of Pedro blog.

Playing it will still brings joy but being on the competing end and working to reach that goal is like no other feeling. You get a much more satisfaction out of it and the great memories you make on your route to that dream is priceless.

Now I want to make a call to action to all college soccer players that have been in my same shoes, that have faced the adversity and that have realized that soccer wasn’t going to provide a living in the future. I want to be able to meet, talk, and find out what your life consists of without college soccer.

I am a huge believer that college soccer needs to be changed as more and more players quit whenever entering college. College soccer has a way of taking the fun out of playing the sport, but just remember this final though

You are MORE than just an athlete!

Your boy,

Pedro Segundo

 

Afraid of Failure|3 Easy Ways to Overcome It

The topic of being afraid of failure is something that virtually everyone can relate to. Let’s be honest, who on earth enjoys to fail? Nobody right! Everyone fails in life no matter what.

It could be from you failing in your business, failing in school to even you fail to win a solo game in Fortnite when you have double digits kills.

Trust me, the third is the biggest failure lol

Elephants Compared to You & I

I came across this article the other day on how circuses train their elephants and made me think about how we could learn a thing or two from them.

So, the thing is, they take them when they are small and tie a heavy rope around their head. The baby elephant naturally tries to walk away but is held back by this rope. The elephant attempts to break free but quickly learns that it is not strong enough just yet. Naturally, it stays still.

As the elephant gets older and stronger the rope gets weaker but not weak enough for it for break lose.

Elephants Tied Up on Life of Pedro with Pedro Segundo from Clayton, NC

It gets even worse from here

As the rope is placed over their heads, they no longer pull and push and attempt to break free because they know it is useless.

The elephant becomes so accustomed to being held down that it no longer attempts to break free. If only the baby elephant knew how strong they truly are. If only he realized that once they have matured, even a rope that is “secured” to a pole cannot detain them anymore

Then they would be no longer afraid of failure

Similar to elephants, we as humans gain a sense of fear whenever we feel resistance, we give up too early and once we reach the state of failure, we don’t attempt to break the threshold ever again.

But fear no more, here are four easy ways to change TODAY!

Everything Is Going to Be Okay

MY BIGGEST FEAR:

Before I start talking about how you can overcome this monster of fear, I want to talk about a few things that I fear.

One of my biggest fears as I enter the online business world is the fact that I was afraid to lose money. Quite frankly, who isn’t either?

Working to gain that capital needed and putting myself out there and losing it all is the biggest fear I face today.

Pedro Segundo Clayton, NC Baby
“What are you doing blogging”

I don’t know what I am capable until the day I actually put my skills to test and go for it. This is one of the reasons I created this blog. If baby Pedro, fresh out of wound were to be talking to present me I would have told myself that I would never be blogging. I would give myself a quick ring to let me know of that, but……….

That’s the funny thing of the future though, you never know what things you will get into where those things will take it.

This has been my method of coping with fear, I go along for the learning experience and what lies ahead and hopefully at the end of the rainbow, there will be gold.

But enough talking about me, let’s talk about how YOU can overcome the fear of failure with these 3 simple proven methods!!

1) State Your Fear 

Whatever you are afraid of failing in, I want you to jot down something that you always wanted to do and why you haven’t done it

Now, when thinking about the why, were you ever afraid to fail in this area?

Many of you might say “yeah, Pedro I was afraid to fail”

I’m here to tell you that it is perfectly fine to be afraid.

The first thing you can think about is stating it and defining the ‘why.”

This is the most common excuse that we are given to ourselves when the factor of fear comes to mind. If you are having these thoughts, I’ll give you some examples of what you could say instead.

  • How you feel: “This will be very difficult to reach”
  • Your mind: “I’m not capable so there is no point in trying”
  • What you should think instead: Acknowledge this fear, own up to it, and then confront it

Once you define the way you can move on to the step

2) Accept Your Fear of Failure

Okay, so now that you know what you fear and know that this monster living underneath your bed can be taken down, we now must accept it.

Accepting it is probably the hardest thing to do when overcoming fear. Fear takes away so much freedom and control over your life that it plain out makes your miserable. Imagine, you being able to do whatever your mind tells you because that is what you want to do without having regrets at the end of it.

Life would be pretty good huh?

It damns sure would be!

Once you accept this fear, start to think of fear in a different light.

Maybe instead of thinking of it in a pessimistic way, think of it in an optimistic way. We are afraid of failure because most of us associate it with the feeling of pain and suffering. What if you associate it with something different?

For example, let’s take our Lord and savior of the lightbulb, Thomas Edison. When asked by a reporter how it felt to fail over 9,999 times before even creating the lightbulb, Edison looked over with confidence drooling from his eyes with a smile and said that he didn’t fail. He just found 9,999 ways on how to not create a light bulb. Now that is what champions do.

So next time the fear of failure comes striking through your mind, think of it is one step closer to your goal and see the difference it can make in your life.

3) EMBRACE EMBRACE EMBRACE

Talking with one of my friends, he told me of the story of Michaelangelo, Italian sculptor. He was the creator of the Statue of David. I’m sure we all know that masterpiece by now. It is one of the most iconic marble statues to ever be created during that period.

People would ask “Yo, Michael, how in the hell did you make a masterpiece from such a crappy piece of marble.” Michelangelo responds that the perfect statue is always inside the giant piece of marble, all you had to do was remove the excess pieces.

Image result for michelangelo david
SKKKKKKRRRRRTTTTTTTTT

What excess pieces do you need to remove from your identity to show the true badass you truly are. What is limiting you or holding you down that you need to remove and simply say “skkkkkkkrrrrtttttt.”

What is the bullshit excuse you are telling yourself you need to quit?

This is what happens when you go through a high volume of failure in a short amount of time. It gives you the opportunity to expose yourself and actually find what you need to remove from your self-identity.

At first, it may seem depressing not getting any results and having to repeat a process over and over again until you find a true winner, but something weird happens when you keep going and almost as luck strikes you, then you start becoming successful. You end up chipping away the excess and start to show the real potential inside of you!

Touching back on the previous point, start asking yourself how many times you failed today? Once you have a list of those failures, ask yourself, what did you learn from these mistakes?

This will create a feedback loop that enables you to see failure as negative feedback instead of this huge phenom of pain and suffering.

All you will have to do is review, change and try again 

The more you do this the better you will get at it. Success tends to swing in your favor since you give yourself more attempts to actually try and make this work.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Wolf of Wall Street is my favorite movie and to quote Mr. Belfort…..

The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.

-Jordan Belfort

Image result for jordan belfort

This is so true. Success for you is possible and it is real. The only thing you have to do is realize that the fear of failing is normal and it is all part of the process. Start implementing these 3 methods now!

You are much stronger than you think you are and you have what it takes to succeed out in this world.

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Missed out on how to create your blog today and start making cash? Click below on my earlier blog posts to learn more.

 

 

What and Who is Holding You Back From Greatness?

ITS TIME TO GET OVER IT

I’m sitting here in a Starbucks writing this blog post to you as beside me is a young Asian man that I have been helping him get off his feet. I came across this man yesterday on my way out of the library asking for a ride. I gave him a ride and learned his story and how he has been struggling lately ever since he has come to the U.S. I was skeptical at first but I saw no harm in his eyes.

He shared how he has little resources and how he feels like an outsider in this country. This made me think…

I was once in his shoes, how can I help him?

I offered him my time along with personal rides whenever I was in the area when he needed one, money for food for the week, and shared my personal experiences and how he can apply these to his life. Right now he is reading over articles on “How to master interviews” so he can get a job and start somewhere. Will keep updated on his journey as to how he will progress.

HOW WE DOING TODAY? I HOPE AMAZING!

Image result for whats up memesLife is good right now. I grabbed my first paycheck from my internship yesterday and man does it feel good once that paycheck direct deposits into your account. It’s like a revitalizing feeling and makes you ready to take on the weekend.

This post I will talk about many obstacles that many people have and obstacles and fears I have for myself. It’s kind of weird because I don’t like to talk about these kinds of things with other people and I’d imagine many of you don’t either. There is a social stigma nowadays that people don’t like sharing their problems because of what other people will think of those problems. I myself strongly believe that and supports why I don’t like sharing these things. Of course, people will share minor problems that happen to them just like any ordinary person. For example, I’ve gotten four speeding tickets since my parents took me to get my license. Pedro, four? Yes, four. Trust me, it sucks paying those court costs and lawyers fees to only get it reduced to proper equipment. These are problems that aren’t as daunting other than you paying fees to cover it but it doesn’t amount to anything more than that but these are problems people feel comfortable sharing.

There are problems people don’t want to share such as family issues, financials, personal mishaps, and lack of confidence.

DON’T LET THESE PROBLEMS GET TO YOU

Honestly, I have fallen victim to issues and I’m making a pledge to not let these problems get in the way of overcoming adversity and gaining personal happiness. Whatever problems you may have, it’s time to put them aside. I want you to think right now and say

What problems are stopping me ?

Now go back and think of ways that you can put those problems aside or rise on top of them. Make no excuses. Whatever problem you have, I guarantee you someone has already conquered that same issue.

Not enough money? Find other ways to make money

Don’t have the self-confidence to talk to new people? Break out of your shell and force yourself to talk to people

Not getting good enough grades? Buckle down and hit those books

Point is, there are solutions to everything.

USE ME AS AN EXAMPLE

Growing up, I didn’t have that much of a privileged upbringing as some of my peers. It wasn’t as easy to get the things that I wanted due to the fact that money was always tight when I was young. I had to work extremely hard to get these things that I wanted at an early age. Middle school was the age that everything clicked and I told myself that I would not be an average Hispanic male with no education, no success, and no motive to move forward. This was a popular mindset growing up. Coming from a Mexican-Native family, I got to experience and be around of lots of people that would peak in high school and that would be it in their life. I vividly remember 6th grade. 6th grade was awful as I was bullied and picked on SO much. People would laugh at my ridiculous hair, they would laugh at my name, they would laugh about what I wore and literally everything they could say they would make fun of it. This put me in such a depressing state at the time. I would go to school, feel like absolute shit from it and come home and talk to my parents about how much school had sucked that day. Bullying is a real thing. Like it really does affect your mindset and I was victim to it. I endured that torture all year and I made a decision that next year I would come back a whole different person. This was also the time that I told myself that I would commit to soccer and play at the next level.

COMING BACK AT YOU BOY

7th grade came around. I had completely re-amp myself. I changed my hairstyle, style of clothes, personality, and most importantly, my self-confidence. Every opportunity I got to meet a new person, join a new group, talk to a new girl I thought was cute literally anything to change. That year I joined the middle school soccer team, band, chess club, and SGA. Also that year I got my first “official” girlfriend that didn’t last for a week. You know those typical middle relationships. That year I forced myself to change and change did happen. Now, I would come home to tell my parents how awesome school was and the things that I learned. It was a whole different feeling and I was loving it. Life has much more purpose when every day is a good day and you see positive change happen.

My parents were more than happy to invest time and money into things like this because they say the inner gratification it caused me. I couldn’t thank them enough for that.

Needless to say, life was great. Don’t get me wrong. There were a lot of obstacles in order to get that change I deeply needed. People would mock new things I did, Hispanic friends of mine would make fun because I was doing “white people” things. Girls would make fun of how awkward I was at the beginning. Loads of criticism happened but I made it work and told myself to not let those people bring me down.

BRAND NEW PEDRO

8th grade was the year that everything began to roll. I was making lots of friends, a lot more people develop a more overall liking to me, I made serious progress in soccer, I was making money playing music. Like everything was starting to glow in life.

Image result for what problems are stopping you
Me in middle school

People weren’t making fun of me because they were seeing progress and how quickly I became to overcome those negative minded people that all they do is criticise other people. Thinking with a negative mind will get you nowhere in life.

MY QUESTION TO YOU

Whatever problems you have, I promise you that it is not the end of the world. Push yourself to limits you didn’t even know you had. Make every day a mission to improve as a person and most importantly, live your life to the absolute fullest. There are few chances for you to do whatever your heart desires.

I want you to think of a mini bucket list of 5 things you want to do within the next five years. I’m going to share mine.

  • Go to Tomorrowland in Beliguim
  • Attend the next World Cup
  • Graduate college with a 3.75 GPA
  • Build my first online e-commerce store
  • Move to a either Chicago or New York

These are goals and ambitious goals that I hope to achieve but with the right mindset, knowledge, and ambition ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!

BE THE KING

Now put aside all your problems and START TODAY! 

Image result for inspirational quotes
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Your boy,

Pedro Segundo

Welcome To The Life of Pedro – June 2018

Whats good my fellow people! First I would like to thank you for being crazy enough to join me on this adventure as I record everything that happens to me on this Life of Pedro blog. June 14th is the day this blog officially launched!

If you have been following me on my Instagram my life looks kind of edgy but conservative at the same time. There is a lifestyle I have in mind and this blog will document my journey to reach that lifestyle. This is my first time ever writing a blog and bare with me now on everything as this will only get better… as I hope it does 😅 A little bit about myself. I’m a 20-year-old guy that just wants to live life to the ultimate capacity. I always had a niche to try new things until I find one that works!

Not so sure of what direction this will all go but my main purpose for making this blog is years from now I want to be able to look back at this and kind of reminisce on the good ‘ol days, days where there were no worries or realistic expectations. Most importantly I want to compare this to my future self and kind of see how I change as a person. But with all due being said Bienvenidos! I will try to blog frequently  on here to keep you in the loop of things

If you want to join me on this adventure follow my social media outlets and this blog !

 

 

Be yourself everyone is already a twat. — Some british guy

Your boy,

Pedro Segundo