Take Nothing for Granted

As a coach, I spend most of my time teaching and training athletes. Most of my days involve working with both youth athletes as well as professionals. One moment I might be coaching a kid who dreams of making it big, while the next I’m working with a professional who is well on his way to the top. As a result, how I communicate with my athletes often varies throughout the day. The language that I use with a child might be entirely different from what I use with a professional. Yet, while my language and tone may vary, there are some universal messages that I try to instill in each athlete. One in particular is that you should never take anything for granted.

As stated by NFL linebacker Robert Mathis:

Athletes: Don't take the sport you play for granted

Here One Minute, Gone the Next

Encouraging an athlete to never take anything for granted is easier said than done. I’ve seen athletes at all levels who don’t appreciate their ability to go out and perform. Many just don’t realize how special something is until it is gone. I say this not just as a coach, but also as a former athlete who made this very mistake.

As a young athlete, I didn’t appreciate how special it was to compete. My life had always revolved around sports so I never envisioned a time without competition. It wasn’t until I was sidelined by injuries and ignorance that I realized what I had taken for granted. Suddenly I recognized just how much I loved what I was no longer able to do.

Therefore, it is my hope that I can get some of today’s athletes to recognize what they have before it is gone. I’m happy to be that pain in the ass who constantly reminds his athletes to embrace the moment. I’m sure some of my guys get tired of the reminders, but I’m also confident that they will someday be thankful.

Final Thoughts

As stated by Robert Mathis, all athletes should be thankful that they get to do something they love. In some respects, his message is similar to the video that I shared a few months ago (see below).

As an athlete, you owe it to yourself to work hard every moment. Make the most of your ability while you still can. Because unfortunately, the time will eventually come when you no longer have that luxury. Time catches up to everyone.

Not only will you accomplish more, but you’ll also sleep better at night knowing that you gave everything you had while you still could. No one cares what you could have done. All that matters is what you did. Thus, if there is something you wish to achieve, go out and get it while you still can.

Stop waiting for a time (tomorrow) that isn’t guaranteed. Not only is all joy experienced in the present, your future also depends on it. It’s a myth to believe that your future starts tomorrow. It always starts today.


“Appreciate what you have before it turns into what you had.”


  1. nice message, it’s always about the journey. I especially like “Appreciate what you have before it turns into what you had.”

  2. As a former competitive athlete who currently works in an office and trains harder than I ever did when I was competitive, I second this feeling. It is a special gift to be competitive in the field or the ring, a gift that not everyone gets to realize in their life. Ross is absolutely right that you need to cherish those moments, and prepare for them because they’ll be gone and you want to have given your all to make the most of such a wonderful gift.

  3. I think this is a very important aspect of sport and for athletes! I’m still young so its good to be reminded! Thanks Ross!

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