“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” This timeless Muhammad Ali quote exemplifies how you must view yourself as you to get ready to conquer the NPTE. Did you realize that you are a champion? If you didn’t, it’s time to make that shift in your mentality. If you did realize, let’s make sure that you continue going down the right path.
I’m a sore loser, I must admit it. I hate losing at anything, and this is something I’ve dealt with from my childhood and my teenage years. I would play games like Madden, or NBA 2k, Call of Duty, and a few others. I remember how I loved the thrill that came with winning but despised the feeling that came from defeat. Sometimes I found myself throwing in the towel and quitting on a game when I was losing. I’m ashamed to say it, but I learned from those losses. The smell of the newly cut grass and feeling of the beads of sweat running down my forehead, as I stood on the football field are still fresh on my mind. My coach always preached not to look at the scoreboard, and to just keep playing for four quarters. Some things are better said than done. I remember one game where my team was down for two quarters, and we came back and won the game in the second half. The powerful lesson I learned was the results of a quarter don’t determine the results of the game.
Some of you have had practice exams that did not go to well for you. You had certain points in school where you were not at your best. Remember, it is not how you start but how you finish. The score in the first quarter does not guarantee the outcome of the game. Life would look so much differently if we lived every day like it was the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter is the point of the game where everything counts.
Regardless of how you performed in the first three quarters, here is where you must have that last-minute stamina. The race is won by the person who endures until the end. The fourth quarter is the place where champions are born and where they help cement their legacy as a closer. I need you to be a closer, point, blank, period. I don’t care how well you did in the first three quarters, you must finish strong. In this quarter, you must have a short-term memory and forget about what was done previously. So, forget about the practice exams you did well on, forget about the exams you didn’t do well on.
All those exams whether good or bad equipped you to dominate the NPTE. Even when you lose, it does not define you. If you don’t win the game, you didn’t really lose, you just prolonged the amount of time for you to get a win. This is a champions mentality. When I was a child, I spoke as a child. I understood as a child. I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. I put away my childish beliefs and stopped looking at the scoreboard. The score is what it is. Focus on what you can control and execute in the fourth quarter. If you do this, you’ll win the game, kill the NPTE and become the doctor of physical therapy you deserve to be.