You Got This! You Can Do This!

This is my first published piece in the Boulder newspaper! I wrote it out of frustration after watching the last blow out and listening to the same old explanations. I have a different take on CU’s football team.

My daughter Courtney and her dance team before the game

An Open Letter to the CU Buffs

I just returned from another disappointing loss; this one against University of Southern California. My husband and I stayed for the whole game as brutal as it was. We are your super fans.

You guys are defeated, deflated and some give the impression of being dejected. It was apparent in your body language and energy after the third touchdown. I just have one question: Why?

I’m not a sports psychologist, sociologist or human behaviorist. I am just a writer who plays tennis. But in my very limited world of competitive sports, I believe you had USC right where you wanted them when you were down by three touchdowns. A huge part of all sports is confidence level. Many times when I was down 0-5 in a tennis match, I decided to really bring it. I had nothing to lose and everything to win. Time after time my competitor would get tight after losing one game after another.  Soon they would be freaking out and I would win: 7-5.

Last year, while watching the Denver Broncos, everyone was amazed at how Tim Tebow changed the demeanor of the team. Did he bring tremendous talent? Not really, but he gave every player one thing. Hope.

It was the craziest thing. He just truly believed that the Broncos could win. He had the innate ability to make his other team members believe it too.

One player’s positive or negative energy can affect the whole team. One groan can be infectious like a disease. So can a positive affirmation, an attaboy, or a cheer. You have to be each other’s cheerleaders. Mistakes will be made. No one is perfect. It is how far you get down on yourself and others that makes the difference between a winner and a loser.

When a person is confident, they play to their best ability. Their energy level goes through the roof with the adrenaline rush.  When nervous or afraid of screwing up, a player hesitates, second guesses and fails. They drag their feet because their body becomes sluggish.

Getting back to USC, a stronger team has their stats and accomplishments to spur them on and give them confidence. That’s when the underdog can be their undoing. When USC scored that third touchdown, that’s when they may have let down a little and not played as hard because, well, they didn’t have to. If CU had gotten pumped up and attacked, they may not have been ready. If the score had become tight, then it is very likely that USC would have gotten tight too.

Even when there is nothing to cheer about, the band plays on and the dance team keeps on cheering.

The final score could have been a lot different. Instead, I saw a bunch of college kids who couldn’t wait to get back on the plane to Boulder and that was in the first quarter. You had already given up.

You see, confidence has to come from within. No one can tell you to have confidence. You have to find it. You are hearing that because there are so many freshmen on the team, losing is to be expected. The problem is you believe that crap. I see talent on your team, but you can’t play when you are afraid. Fear = Failure.

What I learned from tennis is that you can only think about one thing at a time, so I try to concentrate on positive thinking only. Last tennis season was my worst in a while because I forgot all of this. You have to come up with some super positive mantras to use over and over again. Instead of saying, “We suck,” say, “We got this. We can do this.” Wave from the field to get the crowd roaring. Get them on their feet. Jump up and down in between breaks. Come up with something to shout when you break. For God’s sake get fired up. It is all about energy level. And the other team not only sees it, but senses it.

My advice it is to forget everything you have read and heard. Forget the standings. You are better than your standings. You are not one of the worst teams in the U.S. You have just been convinced that you are. Prove everyone wrong. Go for it. What do you have to lose?

Good luck from your super fan,

Susie Lindau

A version of this column was published in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper on Oct. 24th.

Can you relate?

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Filed under Humor, Life, Sports

127 responses to “You Got This! You Can Do This!

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  6. While holding the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLV , Rodgers’ teammate Clay Matthews placed a replica of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Big Gold Belt on Rodgers’ shoulder.

  7. Congrats on getting published – I hope you didn’t have the misfortune of going to the Oregon game as well this weekend. As a follower of many bad teams (historically bad 2003 Detroit Tigers, 1980s Detroit Red Wings, Michigan and Big Ten Football in general right now) I must say that I hope it gets better for the Buffs. I still remember that Kordell Stewart Hail Mary stunning us at the Big House in Ann Arbor.

    • Thanks so much!
      Kordell was an amazing player! We could use some talent like that. We weren’t at the last game but will be in the stands cheering them on next Saturday. Hopefully I will see them play with a little more passion!
      Thanks so much for reading!

  8. Congratulations on getting published! This is a great article… straight from the heart! I’ve seen this before… we all have… more than once, right?

    It really is all about attitude! If you don’t believe you can win, the opponent is going to pick up on that… every time!

    I have been a Cubs fan probably even longer than I’ve been a Cardinals fan… and I always will be. They may never make another World Series, but I cheer every game like it was Game 7. Some of my friends find my ‘fervor’ amusing… what can I say? I LOVE the underdog!

    If we don’t have faith in ourselves… if we can’t love ourselves… how can we expect others to have faith in us… why should others love us if we don’t love ourselves?

    I suppose, now that you have been made head coach, you won’t have as much time for writing?

    • Hahaha! I haven’t worked out the details of the contract….yet. Hahaha!
      You got it Veronica! It is all about belief in ourselves. I am sure that with all of your positive energy you will achieve your goals!
      Thanks so much!

  9. as a lifelong yankees fan, i can relate.

  10. Now THAT’S a fan. Vince Lombardi has NOTHING on you. Great going, Colorado. And I couldn’t agree more. Watching the baseball playoffs, I see everything you wrote about. Confidence is the difference in most of these games. One team thinks they can do it, one teams knows they’ll find a way.

    • I think that as long as the team keeps believing, no matter the odds, the better they play. At least the score usually ends up closer and sometimes there is an upset. So often I see the opposite. I just had to get this out there. I think it applies to life too! You can do it Cayman! Thank you!

  11. I take it you MUST have been offered the job of coach by now? :)

  12. congrats on getting your word out! It is frustrating to watch sports when a team is just going through the motions…..I have been watching the World Series and it is pretty intense, Though I wish the Tigers could make it close! But, it looks like they are outgunned, but it doesn’t get them down!

    • Thanks Clay!
      That’s all I was asking, just for some energy and to keep their chins up. Yesterday at halftime, Jeremy Bloom said the same thing I did; that the Buffs had already started dragging their feet. I wonder if he read my article??? :)

  13. Congratulations, Susie. That was an inspiring article even for those of us who don’t play sports.

  14. The cool thing about this post? It transcends sports to everything we do. Thanks for being the consummate cheerleader, Susie! I totally want you on my team.

  15. Congratulations, Susie! So happy for you, and this is a magic message (even for me, who’s a total slacker when it comes to sport)!

    • Thanks so much Alarna!
      I think it can apply to anyone who runs into obstacles while achieving their goal. You have to find a way to dispel the negativity and plow on! (I probably used the word “plow” since it snowed last night…. :) )
      As my sister said, “Run Forest Run!”

  16. you need to be in the huddle woman! great post!!

  17. They must have really taken this one to heart.. did they do better after reading your pep talk? xx

  18. Susie, I want you cheering on my team! :) what a great pep talk. I hope the coach reads your article and makes each team member read it over and over and over again.

  19. I like to think of the coach telling the team ‘Great job! We’re down by three touchdowns. We finally have them right where we want them!’

    • I am glad you agree! It works for me! Actually 2-5 in tennis is the magic number. Statistically more come back to win at that score, than lose. It is a mental game.
      Football teams do it all the time. One team gets ahead and then they let down. They just need someone to lead the charge!

  20. lynnkelleyauthor

    Congrats on your publication, Susie! Woot! What a great piece. You nailed it, and this advice goes for everyone. Love the photos, too!

  21. Thanks for the uplifting post. I needed a little cheering on for myself today…thank you.
    PS. There is no denying your daughter…she is a beauty.

  22. Congrats on your first sports piece. Even though I’m a Trojan fan and was happy with the results of the game I hope some of the CU players read it because all athletes need a little inspiration. And Lame Adventures is right, you should be a sports psychologist.

    • Thanks Guat! Hahaha! Who knew my first published piece would be about sports?
      I think everyone can use a little pull or push out of the funk from time to time.
      Don’t worry. I won’t hold your allegiance against you. Kidding! :) USC was amazing and broke at least two records during that game.

  23. Fantastic and inspiring post! My son has played select level soccer for years and nothing gets under my skin more than when the team gets scored on, they all hang their heads, drag their feet. So many games are won in the last few seconds. There is no room for giving up!

    • I am so glad that you “get” this Ginger. That is Right On! That is what inspired the article, but I figured everyone could relate in some way….
      Thank you so very much and good luck to your son!

  24. Great post, Susie. Your advice is good for people in any stage of life, and there is something we can all take from it. Congrats, and thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thanks so much Stacy! I am so glad that you could take something away from my post. That was my ultimate intention. I think we all run into obstacles along the way… We just have to try our best and keep saying, “I can do this….” That is one of my favorite mantras!

  25. Your daughter looks so much like you!! And I shouldn’t admit it here, but we’re major USC fans in our house. :-)

    Great article!

    • Thanks so much Jenny!
      I think that is great! I absolutely loved the campus and the stadium’s architecture was fabulous. I have been at other away games before and USC fans were so nice and friendly!

  26. Here’s a thought as well. There are only so many young men who will play college football at the level of the CU team, going against one of the top teams in the country in USC. The vast majority of the players for both of those teams will not play beyond college. They will move onto the post-football phases of their lives and hopefully find success in the there as well. If they are like me, they will occasionally revisit the playing fields of their college days, in nostalgic recollections or in dreams. At some point during these trips back in their minds, they’ll realize that on one play or another, they mioght not have tried as hard as they could have. They’ll yearn for one more chance, one more play.

    As we all know, those chances are gone when they’re gone and they aint coming back.

    I’ve been back on the fields in my mind, so many decades later, and wished for one more chance to perform, to play, to try to excell. I played against some of the top teams in the country in my sport, and usually did my best, but the nagging thought that I could have done better on occasion persists in my mind. The CU players have a rare opportunity just being on a division 1 college football playing field and need to realize that they may not have so many chances to do their best in that particular arena.

    • That is very true and yet I am not talking about performance as much as energy level. It is so apparent. As soon as they give up, they get run over. They don’t try. It is not about one guy missing the ball. It is about how they hang their heads when they are walking on campus and all that has been written about them. It was a big shout out for everyone to not give up until the last second of the game. The fans as well.

      I know how it is to lose confidence. You don’t want the ball. You don’t want the responsibility. It is more than a missed opportunity. It is fear of major failure and embarrassment. No one can play under those conditions week after week.

      This was also about how anyone can face these same obstacles; at work, in relationships, school…. Somehow we have to find a way to pull ourselves out of the funk and not let negativity defeat us before the end of the game…
      Thanks so much 1 Point! I really appreciate the input!

  27. Congrats! I enjoyed reading the article, even though I’m not into sports. I hope the members of the team will read it and find inspiration in your words!

  28. I think the confidence thing goes for sports and many different aspects of life beyond that. Works for getting that job, that guy/girl, making friends, …creating a blog :).

    You’re daughter is cute! “Her” dance team? Is she captain or something? I miss dance.

    I play tennis from time to time. Nothing like a good satisfying over head smash at the net.

  29. Keeping with sports, I’m a Mets and Red Sox fan. (Don’t get mired in the conflict of interest) Every season is an elevator ride from hell. Not only is the car heading for a crash but a lot of the passengers are bitchin’ about the wood paneling in the car and the fact the emergency phone doesn’t work. My belief is “Enjoy the excitement, the ride’s going to end badly. So have fun while you can watching the show.”

    • True and I love to watch. But I have to say this last game with the Buffs was without a doubt the most passionless game I have ever witnessed in any sport. I don’t mind watching and getting behind a losing team, but it is frustrating when a team gives up without trying…
      Absolutely LOVE your metaphor Tom!

  30. you nailed it! i love your enthusiasm, your encouragement and your belief all things can be better with a positive, confident attitude. your advice to the BUFFS applies to everyone of us. great business lesson in my opinion.

    • Thanks so much Jan!

      I road in the bus to the airport on Sunday and listened to a guy who gave that same opinion I have been hearing all year. I couldn’t get one word in. Of course I am a girl too….
      On Monday I typed this up in a half hour out of frustration not even knowing how I would get it out there. Then I thought of the newspaper. I am so thankful that they printed it!
      A positive attitude really is universal!

  31. Maybe you should become a sports psychologist? I wish you had also sent this to the hapless Yankees last week.

  32. Julie Catherine

    Awesome article, Susie, and huge congrats on getting it published – a real boost for your own cheerleading page! :) I totally agree with what you said; and as many have pointed out, this relates to any situation in life where you just need to dig a little deeper to find the determination to keep going and make a positive out of the experience – it reminds me of something I heard long ago (can’t remember where) – “don’t quit before the miracle happens!” Huge kudos to you, this is an awesome piece of work! :)

    • Thank you so much Julie! I am glad it is striking a chord. It is important to be your own cheerleader especially when you are surrounded by the sound of crickets….. and the cool part is how the energy spreads!
      I love that expression! Thanks for sharing it!

  33. John Hardy Bell

    I sure hope Jon Embree was reading. Kudos to getting this great piece published Susie! I’m highly confident we’ll be seeing your name in print for a long time to come! :) And no matter what their record is, I will always say GO BUFFS!

  34. Congrats! Great piece – thanks for sharing! Happy Thursday:)

  35. I loved this, Susie. Great advice and so well written. Congrats on it being published!

  36. Yes…positive energy collides and propels us foreword. And sometimes we lose but it is nice to know we gave it all we had, in sports and life. That is a good mantra to live by. Unfortunatly there are downers, people who see everything in a negative way. I try to ignore or runaway from those types, for all the convincing in the world is for naught. Ha…cheers. Happy for your published voice.

  37. Perfect common sense and thoughts from someone who is not a coach yet could coach that team.. Susie.. have you thought about applying? Well done and congrats on the newspaper print.

  38. Astute and thoughtful comments to the team, Susie… congratulations on your first published piece… first of many I assume.

  39. You go Susie! I remember when I first took my husband to a Ducks game in 19XX, and he called them the Keystone cops. Now look at them! CU needs you in the locker room at half time, and the fans need a sit-down with loyal followers of the Cubs. P.S. If you ever invite me to play tennis, um, no way!

    Congrats on your publication! Many more to come!

    • Awww! Thank you very much!
      We ironically play the Ducks this weekend! :) They killed us last year… I just hope that CU plays with more passion this week!
      I just gasped. I almost forgot I play tennis today at 10:30. Thanks for the reminder! Hahaha!

  40. Applies to all sports team Susie. Great article!

    • Thanks Ginger! I think you are right!
      Glad to see you back amongst the WordPress bloggers again! Aren’t the Happiness Engineers the BEST???

      • They are good and quick too – I will be much more cautious in future!

          • Susie

            My domain name was renewed three weeks or so ago with the renewal date set for 23rd October. For some reason the renewal didn’t go live for a few hours and the hacker nipped in.

            The domain name was sorted out, that closed the site off and I changed the password. The Word Press guys gave everything a good clean to make sure that there was no nasty bits and bobs lurking in the innards of the site.

            So it seems as though there was more an issue with the domain company being a bit tardy rather than an attack on WordPress – so when you renew just be a little bit careful!

            Thanks again for your help – much appreciated

  41. Great Article! I felt the uplift and I am not even on the team!

  42. Such a great piece to publish and put out to the students! State of mind and confidence really is a huge part of any sport. I learned that from running, you from tennis, and hopefully these guys will learn it from football.
    Your daughter is gorgeous, by the way. Looks just like you! :)

  43. Congrats on having this awesome piece published! We need to have more people like you putting out the foreign idea that yes, we can still choose to have a positive attitude! Nice!

    • Thanks so much Zannyro!
      I really do believe that being positive changes a person physically. I see it all the time in professional sports so imagine how it effects you and me!

      • I have, for some reason, gotten more positive in my own life in the last year…and it’s made all the difference…looking at your images of your lovely daughter.and reading your article..I realized, duh, that your daughter isn’t the only cheerleader in the family!

        • Haha! That is true! I was a born cheerleader!
          Being positive is a choice and it takes effort to block out the negative thoughts, but is well worth it. After a while it becomes a habit. :)
          Glad to hear that! Go Zannyro!!!!!

  44. Beautifully personal story, Susie. I can see why they published it! Congrats, and lucky them. ;)

    • Thanks August! It was surprising. I had planned on sending it to the coaching staff and the athletic director, but I gave the paper the first crack at it!
      So very exciting!

  45. Cheers! Underdogs rock. (and CU is certainly that with these teams)
    We watch long distance -with the shirts and flags and searching where we can see the games.
    Morale and confidence has been an issue since a certain coach (he who will not be named) sucker punched the program and left. Coaching issues are too long to get into here – as well as teams who used to go get drunk and played bowl games hung over ( but had a great trip!)
    One problem is CU can attract star talented players because those want a solid team to show their talent – and the team gets progressively weaker and weaker and sinks down into “why bother”
    Now, you are right. It’s all got to come from within each player.
    Don’t go down without a fight. Take risks. Do something unexpected: even so off the wall how could it possibly work.
    Give them something to talk about and who knows, the unexpected result might be a real winner. Go Buffs!
    Well done, Susie ( and cute kid)

    • Ohhh! Thanks so much!
      I was shaking after I got the email saying, “It will run tomorrow.”
      There has been so much negative press and I felt like they needed a boost. There was no way for me to do that. I had a conversation with a faculty member on the way to the airport and couldn’t get a word in edgewise. This was the only way everyone would listen to me!

    • Ohhh! Thanks so much!
      I was shaking after I got the email saying, “It will run tomorrow.”
      There has been so much negative press and I felt like they needed a boost. There was no way for me to do that. I had a conversation with a faculty member on the way to the airport and couldn’t get a word in edgewise. This was the only way everyone would listen to me!

  46. Whoo hoo! Bumping up the writer’s resume! Great piece.

  47. This is fantastic, Susie, and applicable to all sorts of situations – thank you!

  48. Susie, that’s awesome, and a super kick in the butt for us writers too. Congrats! Give me an S give me a U give me SIE give me SUSIE!

  49. Well said, and like sfbell wrote, great advice for all situations.

    And congrats on getting published!

    • Thanks Guapo! I see this happen in all sports and in life. It happened last night during the baseball game. The coach undermined the pitcher’s confidence. It is all about having faith in ourselves and each other.. :)

  50. Congratulations! Wonderful article. It takes heart to be a team – win or lose. You are definitely a superfan. And your daughter is just gorgeous. :-)

  51. Good advice, no matter if it is sports or writing or just life in general. Hope and kindness are easily spread if you just take the initiative, don’t wait for the other guy to do it. Cheers everyone!

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