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Rise above with Rudy

August 18, 2020 - By Claudia Araya - Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Keeping a positive mental mindset is key to facing the uncertainty of these bizarre times we are living. This mentality has the potential to help us get through negative days and will serve as a great tool for our future in life.

In my eyes, this year I was blessed with the opportunity to spend more time with my loved ones than ever before. Throughout this time I was also fortunate enough to take part in certain webinars and conferences. One workshop session in particular impacted me the most, “Rise above with Rudy”.

Have you ever watched the movie Rudy? If you haven’t, it’s a must. Rudy is a 1993 American biographical sports film and it is about the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who harbored the dream of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles.

Just to give you a little bit of context, Rudy comes from a family of nine siblings in which his dad worked three jobs to put food on the table. Rudy had dyslexia, lacked the academic eligibility, money, stature, and talent to play football in Notre Dame. His chances of making his dream true were completely unrealistic, yet significant people along his life engraved a positive mindset in him which convinced him to fight for it.

Rudy Ruettiger dictated the workshop himself, and listening to all the challenges he faced to get into his dream school was truly amazing and inspiring. Here are some of the key lessons I learnt from him that day:

  1. It’s all about love and respect. Rudy’s High School coach always saw the positive in him, his strengths, and not his weaknesses. The lesson here is that we need to show a lot of love because we all learn better when there is love. Just like Rudy’s coach and his best friend, which inspired him to push himself and never quit on his dream. Our children need to surround themselves with good friends, good thoughts, and develop positive relationships with adults in their family and school.

  2. Don’t steal people’s joy! Be around people that want you to win, that gives you hope. When our children/students cannot produce like other students, let’s empower them. Let’s help them be better, be more positive. If we steal our kid’s joy, they will not be positive and they won’t learn. When our children are excited about something, let’s help them embrace it.

  3. Preparation is the key to anything. Our children need to dream like they are an “All American”. They need good mentors and good people that will help them through the day, through their struggles, and through challenging and complicated times. Nothing is impossible with a positive attitude and the right push.

Towards the end of the session, I raised my hand to ask Rudy for advice on how we should be facing Covid-19, with the canceling of all sports seasons and the huge impact that this will cause on our student-athletes’ lives.

Rudy claimed that our Mental Attitude is the key. We need to develop a mental attitude that will keep us going. Regardless if there is a season or not, as an athlete you do not quit working out, nor doing the little things everyday to become better. You need to keep going because there will come a moment in which you will come back, and you must be ready for that day. Sitting around dreaming about things happening won’t make them real until you get up and get to work.

This is the moment to develop a Positive Mental Attitude in our school so that when the day comes, we will be ready to thrive.

Are you ready for that day?

Claudia Araya
Director of Athletics and Activities

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