A Time for Gut Checks and Game Faces

March 16, 2020

By Drew Hawkins

Since the uber contagious Covid-19 emerged as a new, pervasive and, in cases, lethal viral assailant — it has moved at lightning speed globally, taking the political, medical, financial and entire sports worlds with it then sinking the latter two to new depths not seen in a very, very long time or ever before.

As a result, here we all are suspended – literally and figuratively – between the known, unknown and what will never be known.

What we don’t know: With no data behind the Covid-19 bug (yet), we don’t know how much longer it will continue to snake its way through the world shutting down communities and micro economies. So, for now, we don’t know when the normalcy will return, especially in the money and sports worlds whose intersection is undeniable and made even more evident in today’s climate.

What we will never know: While the pro world of sports is in a holding pattern, heartbreak has ripped through the collegiate world as March Madness was canceled and, in one cruel swipe, also canceled the dreams of young men and women who worked their whole lives to achieve a spot on a team that made it to the tourney. We will never know who made it to the big dance, nor the Cinderella stories. We will also miss watching stars like Sabrina Ionescu (#unfinishedbusiness) and Cassius Winston on the biggest stage in their final years.

What we do know: This is where we need our heads to be. While there is plenty that we still don’t know or never will, there is a ton that we do know. Data tells us a lot and there is a lot of it in the stock market and science. Right now, and probably for the short term, that data is painting a bleak and nauseating picture for a lot of Americans. We’re in for a ride – no doubt. BUT data and history also tell us that after a fall there is a climb back upwards. We’ll be alright.

Gut Checks and Game Faces

Before we know it, this will all be history — another challenge we endured and came out on the other side as much stronger and smarter. Until that all happens though, we need to tear a sheet from the mental playbooks of the world’s athletes and get our gut checks and game faces on. Their mindsets of resilience, tenacity, self-talk and discipline, concentration and visualization could help us all manage the anxiety and stress of the unknowns staring us down. I’d think they’ve got to be doing the same.

Keep Our Head in the Game

Sports has forever served as a welcomed distraction, a soothing respite through hard-hitting times. We don’t have that now so keeping our heads in this new and strange game is key. It’s time to stick to facts as best we can. Eventually, the coronavirus will dissipate, life’s new norm will surface but, more importantly, sports will return.