What I Can Control - Tress Way

Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on your job and stay positive in the midst of a crazy season with unexpected losses and coaching changes. But last year, my wife encouraged me not to focus on the numbers or stress about my record, and just go out and have fun. She challenged me to be thankful for the opportunity I have to be with this team and let the numbers take care of themselves. 

Last season as I wrestled with this, I realized I can’t always control the results, but I can control my attitude. This season, the first change that was outside of my control was the coaching change. It was the first coaching change I experienced during my time in the NFL. Then we had some tough injuries to cope with, followed by some heartbreaking losses. These things were out of my control. All I can do is show up, try to be as positive as I can be, and do my best to help the team. 

My wife’s encouraging challenge could not have come at a better time. God used this to solidify my perspective and attitude before the storm hit. Now, as we try to string together some wins for the season, I aim to do so with an attitude of optimism and gratitude. 

It helps when you have other men of God around you to encourage you through the hard times. My workplace happens to be a locker room full of guys, but we all should have people in our lives who have something in common with us that’s so much bigger than our careers. During times of bad performances and good, whether we are experiencing wins or losses, I have a group of guys in my locker room who remind me, on a daily basis, that they’re praying for me. They’re fighting for me and my family. They’re in my corner no matter what. As we pray for each other and keep up the continual conversation of how much we care for each other, we are able to be a rock for one another. 

I hope to be that rock for others, so that in any situation I’m in or others are in, I remember for myself, and remind others, that there’s so much more we can be thankful for. Even in the middle of a crazy season, we should be able to look at each other and pour out our love and care in a genuine way. 

We all have voices of influence in our lives — both good and bad. You get to focus on what you want to focus on. There will always be negative voices and hurtful feedback; we are far from perfect. But when it comes to how we see life, we are able to choose to see the positive. The best way I’ve found to remain positive is to love others. God calls us to love God and love others as we love ourselves, and when we do this, people will take notice. They will see that you’re different — that you belong to Christ — by the actions you take. 

Ultimately, that is how we can be the difference in this world — when we choose to just love. 

— Tress Way, Washington Redskins punter

Tress Way is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Tress’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/tress-way/

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