When Your Dream (Team/School/Job) Says “No”
So you went for it - congrats - that’s awesome in itself! Too often, we avoid “going for it” because there’s a chance the answer will be “no”.
Ask anyone who has chased dreams, freaking gone for it, or taken risks - I bet most of them have heard “no” multiple times. Sometimes that answer leads you to work harder and go for it again and in other instances, you’re forced to look at an amazing alternative you hadn’t yet considered.
As a graduate of a top-ranked school, all-American, and Olympian, I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have heard “no” or applied for a job and not even had my application acknowledged. Sometimes it’s not meant to be, or maybe it’s just not meant to be, yet.
In 2009, I attended an open tryout for the National Team and, to my delight, received an invite to the final camp. I started really believing I could do it and gained more belief (and hope) with each day that passed. I’d dreamt of being a professional athlete since I joined my first team as a seven year old. I titled my high school autobiography “Future Olympian”. I was one of the final cuts that year. As much as that stung, I also was not going to let my story end there. As I fought back tears while receiving the news, I requested feedback. After feeling sorry for myself for a couple of days, I went to work crafting my off-season training plan with that feedback in mind. I gained access to their lifting and conditioning plans so I could get strategically stronger, faster, and fitter. While coaching at my alma mater, I got to practice early, stayed late, asked to be written into practice for any drill possible, I worked with the sprints coach from the track and field staff. I leveraged every resource I could to create a different fate for myself in 2010.
My story ends with an Olympic medal around my neck and continues while coaching with the National Team and starting my own business. None of this has been easy, none of it guaranteed, and I’m not here to guarantee you that your dreams will all come true if you stick with it. What I am here to share is that challenges are normal, setbacks are common, and resilience is essential. As Pat Riley once said, “hard work doesn’t guarantee anything, but without it you don’t stand a chance”.
Give yourself that chance.
My motto for life is ADAPT AND THRIVE. It helps me in those tough moments and reminds me that what I do next is my choice.
What you do next is yours.
Joey Lye, OLY
Did you know Joey, (current coach of Team Canada), offers coaching, inspiration, and other great advice?
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