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?

128 thoughts on “You Got This! You Can Do This!

Add yours

  1. 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.


    1. 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!


      1. We’re both right.

        Those guys will look back and wish they’d kept their energy levels up, that they’d savored the opportunity and not let something like a score get in the way of their experience.


    1. 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!


    1. 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!


  2. 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!


    1. 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!


  3. 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.


    1. 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.


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


    1. 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!


    1. 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!”


  5. 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!


    1. 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??? 🙂


  6. 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.


    1. 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!


  7. 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?


    1. 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!


  8. 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.


    1. 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!


  9. 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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: