This year we have a really good team, a really good coach, and a lot of energy on the field. Though it’s always a different game in the preseason than it is during the regular season, it was great to see the team do so well in the weeks leading up to the season’s start. I think the biggest thing we need to focus on at this point is confidence. We have a lot of confidence in our goals and what we need to do, we just need to ignore outside expectations and keep our focus, no matter what adversity we face. And we know that adversity will come.
We recently had someone come in to speak to us about confidence. He said that superior concentration leads to superior confidence. But it has to come from preparation. Confidence doesn’t just come from who you are, it’s about the amount and type of preparation you choose to put in. If you know no one else is putting in the same level of preparation as you are, you will be confident in your game.
This year I’m training differently than I ever have before, both mentally and physically. I’ve been maximizing my potential with lifting weights, extra running, extra recovery — everything is extra. At the same time, I want to pay attention to not over-straining, but pushing myself to the max. The best thing you can do for yourself when going against your opponent is to know that you can outlast him.
Rest is the key to effectively outlasting your opponent. But you need a plan and a structure in place to do this. Every day when I wake up, I use my first moments to spend with God, whether that’s 20-30 minutes a day. It’s my time to devote the day to the Lord. Then as I go to bed at night, which I try to do at the same time each night, I shut down and let the day go into the hands of the Lord. I take the time to intentionally rest and talk with the Lord, so I’m ready to get up the next day and do it all again.
Doing the same routine every day can be monotonous, but it’s effective. That way, even in the busiest season, I can look back and know that I didn’t let the day get away from me. I made sure to spend time with God and quiet my soul.
When I don’t have these times with the Lord, especially in the busyness of a season, I tend to forget about God and His truths. This is one of the greatest goals of the enemy — to get you busy and distracted from God. Your flesh is weak and you fall into temptation a lot easier. You begin to desire the things of this world instead of what is holy. But when you stay strong and devoted to the Lord and His Word, even during training camp when your body is weak, your spirit will stay strong. You’re then able to withstand temptations that you otherwise couldn’t.
Don’t let your flesh become stronger than your spirit. Remain rooted in your relationship with Christ as you choose to rest in Him.
— Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints linebacker
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.