Play for the love of the game. Play only for the love of the game. The athletes who are successful focus more on what they can give to the game, than what the game can give to them. They realize that sometimes they’ll get the results they want and sometimes they won’t. It’s about the process, each and every single day. Their effort and enjoyment of playing isn’t contingent on that. It can’t be. It doesn’t work.

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A funny thing happens when you play with a love of the game, you play better. When you focus less on the results and more on the process of playing and the love of the game, nerves disappear, the weight of expectations fall away, and the burden of playing for a scholarship or scout ceases to be an issue. The weight of all the necessary emotions and thoughts comes off and you play free and light, having more fun than you ever thought possible.

The true benefits sport may be is the less tangible: the pride of giving yourself to something, the joy of working with your teammates on a common goal, and the confidence that comes from working hard. When yo play for the love of the game, you foster all of those benefits, have more fun, and play better. Play with passion, and everything else will fall into place.