Keeping a Learner's Mentality - Aubrey Bledsoe

After being called up to the national team, I’m now hoping to be called into the USWNT (U.S. Women’s National Team) January training camp. There, the national team will name the players who made the roster to represent the U.S. for the Olympic qualifying matches in early February. I’m hoping for an invite to training camp so I can do well and possibly squeak my way to the Olympics. 

Having a winning mentality is innate in me. I’m very competitive; in everything I do I aim to do it with excellence. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to give it my best. And while I always dreamed of making the national team, I didn’t 100 percent believe I ever would because it’s out of my control. It doesn’t only depend on how well I play, it depends on who the coach is and what players are needed for the team. But even before I was called up, I chose to play as if I was one of the best goalkeepers in the league — just without the label. 

Each day as I take the field, my focus is to have a learner’s mentality. I have to. Every day I give my 100-percent effort because I want to be a good steward of the talents God has graced me with. I don’t want to waste an ounce of who God has made me to be. And as I trust Him, He keeps allowing me to go further than I ever imagined.

Athletes In Action has a motto that is “Victory Beyond Competition.” Ever since I heard about this idea, I’ve made it a firm foundation in my life, knowing that regardless of any particular game, I’m already victorious. With this perspective, I know it ultimately doesn’t matter what happens in my daily life, or on the field for that matter. If we live with a Kingdom mindset, we know eternity has already been won for us! As I keep this in my mind, it helps me live with more freedom and less pressure. 

When I arrived at training camp with the national team, I was super confident. I felt like I had finally made it, when in reality, my next journey had just begun. When we, as believers, walk with Christ, we begin to know more and more about Him, hopefully resembling him more each day. But as we discover how great He is, we also discover how far we are from perfection. 

On this side of eternity we will never be perfect, but as I seek to be more like Christ, I’m learning to take it day by day. There will always be more room to grow, so instead of basing my life on one certain goal or achievement, I’m basing my life on Christ, because He is the only thing that can bring me true satisfaction. 

Celebrate the gains you’re making. Don’t knock yourself down for the ways in which you need to grow, but keep a learner’s mentality and you’ll find Christ bring you places you never dreamed possible.

— Aubrey Bledsoe, NWSL’s Washington Spirit goalkeeper

Aubrey Bledsoe is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Aubrey’s profile on The Increase: https://theincrease.com/author/aubrey-bledsoe/ 

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