SPORTS COLUMN: Mental Fortitude

Ryan Held


As athletes, one of the most important attributes one should have is strength.

This is why we always go to the gym and work out. We want to become stronger. But sometimes the strength we gain in our bodies just isn’t enough. We fail left and right.

Sometimes the season just isn’t going the way we would like it to go. Although we know we have the physical ability, there is always something holding us back. This is because physical strength is not the only kind of strength.

Something that athletes are in desperate need of is mental fortitude. That is what helps us to keep going forward.

What is our purpose in competing in athletic events? If we say winning is our goal, then we don’t have a good reason.

Our goal should be to be the best that we can be. To be stronger than we were yesterday. This is that mental fortitude that we so desperately need. Some call it heart; some call it passion; others call it drive. In the end it all comes down to will. It is that will that drives us to improve ourselves on a daily basis.

As Rocky Balboa said, “It’s not about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

As athletes at Franciscan University, we see once again how sports relate to our own lives. St. Paul says, “I am working out my salvation.”

There is a rather familiar phrase in there. He is “working out.” Every day St. Paul was becoming stronger in the faith than he was the day before. We too should be stronger in the faith every day. We should also be stronger mentally, emotionally and physically. It is only someone that improves in all of these areas who can be a successful Christian athlete.