Effective Tournament Strategies: Is it Opposition or Opportunity?

How-To Fishing Videos
Sports motivational speaker Brandon Gray explains visualization techniques to help you improve your performance in fishing tournaments, and life.

Hello, this is Brandon Gray, helping you win between the cast. What I'm gonna talk about today will not only help you on the water, but it's also gonna help you in life. Talent does not equal mentality. Just because you're talented doesn't mean you're always going to succeed, rather it takes talent and the proper mindset.

Most of us can do well when things are going our way. But what happens when that changes? What happens when all of a sudden the odds are stacked against us? You see your perspective affects your performance. You got that? Your perspective affects your performance. And when it comes to perspective, when things aren't going our way, when it's been a bad day on the water, when it's been a rough start to a tournament, your mindset is the key.

So there's two different types of mindsets. Those who are successful, those who succeed, those who can overcome adversity, have one mindset. Whereas those who hang their head and accept defeat have a different one. Let's talk about that group first.

When adversity strikes those people, once again, whether it's on the water, whether it's in life, when you get the bad news, when things aren't going your way, when that adversity hits, the first group sees adversity as opposition. "Man, this happened to me." They go around talking to themselves.

Remember our first video on CCR, Circumstance, Choice and Response and how it boils down to how you talk to you? The opposition crowd, "Things happen to me. You know, this always happens to me. I always get a big one to the boat and then it breaks off. I always get bad news. Things happen to me."

That group of people, the opposition people, those who view adversity as opposition, they live in circumstance. You get all caught up in what's going on in the moment, and not paying attention to the bigger picture. There's two types of people out there. There are those who live in circumstance and those who live in vision. More about the vision people in just a second. 

The prayer of those who see adversity as opposition is, "Lord, change it." Man, this one applies to life. We get that bad news, "Change it. Take it away from me. Do something about it. Change it." As long as you have that mindset of things happening to me, as living in circumstances, as always wanting the event to change, adversity is not going to be your friend. However, you get to choose your mindset. You get to choose the way that you ultimately impact your performance.

The second group of people fall into that category. They see adversity, they see bad things happening to them instead of as opposition, they see it as opportunity.

You see, the opposition crowd believe that things happen to me. The opportunity crowd, things happen, get this, for me. There's a reason behind it. I might not know the reason right now, but there's a reason behind it. It is going to make me stronger. Something happening to me fishing on the water may alter my style. I may then try a different technique and go on to win the tournament. Things happen for me. That first group we talked about, opposition people, they live in circumstance. The second group, well, they live in vision.

Chuck Pagano calls a good friend of mine Dr. Kevin Elko one night around 2:00 a.m. in the morning. He answers the phone, he says, "Elk, I've got leukemia." Chuck Pagano was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. “But here's the deal, it isn't defeating me. It isn't gonna bring me down. I choose to live in vision and not circumstance. And my vision is to dance with my daughter at her wedding.”

So as he went through those treatments, as things happened to him, the sickness and all the side effects of defeating cancer came his way, he kept his eyes focused on that vision, of dancing with his daughter, till cancer went into remission, he returned to his job on the field. You got to live in vision.

See, things are gonna happen to us in life. Things are gonna happen to us on the water. We can't let one small event get caught up in our circumstance. Rather, we got to continually live in vision.

What's your vision? Where are you headed in life? What's your vision as an angler? What is it all about? Don't let that one event sidetrack you. Don't live in circumstance, choose to live in vision. 

And the last one, we talked about the difference between opposition and opportunity people. Instead of praying, "Lord change it," my prayer becomes, "Lord, change me. Change me. Help me deal with that."

Gene Stallings is one of the great coaches in college football and in the NFL. His son John Mark was born with Down syndrome. He said when he got the news, he prayed and he prayed. He said, "Lord, change Johnny. Change it. Do something. Take it from him." But God answered his prayer and instead of God changing Johnny, as coach Stallings says, "God changed me."

Johnny went on to meet US presidents, to have equipment rooms named after him, to have stadiums named after him, to have friends throughout the country. Much good came through Johnny.

Lord change me. You see the difference? You see the difference in when adversity strikes seeing it as opposition or seeing it as opportunity?

I got a question for you. When something bad happens to you, when you're on the water the motor won't crank, when you're on the water the fish breaks off, when you're on the water and there's a skunk in the boat with you, you go around and say it's bad luck. My question to you, how do you know that it's bad luck?

You see, we're just not in a position to judge the outcome. Rather my challenge to you, instead of walking around and saying it's bad luck, because how do you know? I'm gonna challenge you to do this.

The next time adversity happens, the next time things don't go your way, whether it's on water or whether it's in life, I'm gonna ask you to do this. Put the victim to bed and wake up the hero instead. That can change the outcome of the day and that can change the outcome of your life. 

This has been Brandon Gray with BassResource, helping you win between the cast. Please visit BassResource.com for all your fishing questions and more videos like this.