What's Your "Y"
Michael Flynn, Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
How has your sport journey evolved?
I believe evolving in sports requires compassion and commitment, which stems from youthful years. I found my compassion and commitment through participating in as many sports as possible growing up. Through these experiences, my sport journey evolved, and I came to a conclusion that baseball was where my heart was, and I would dedicate all of my compassion and commitment to the sport for as long as I possibly can.
What (or who) has been your main source of motivation or inspiration?
My Papa has and always will be my main source of motivation and inspiration. He was a quiet leader in my eye. He never showed pain, never complained, always got his job done, and always put faith and family first.
Where do you find more motivation, doubters or supporters?
When it comes to doubters and supporters, I look to both of them as motivation. In my eyes, doubters light a fire underneath you, while your supporters give you strength to keep going. I see it as a balance and source of motivation from both fronts that should be cultivated and used to your own advantage.
What is the biggest mental challenge you've had to face in your sport and how have you conquered that?
The biggest mental challenge I have faced is overcoming injuries, not in terms of the physical aspect but the mental aspect. I found myself sidelined for 98% of the season last year, and found it easy to let thoughts creep in my head that pushed me away from my goals. I told myself I would not let that happen again, and simplified my approach to the game. By simplifying my mental attitude so much, there isn’t enough room for other negative thoughts to creep in, rather one goal with an easy straightforward approach.
What do you do to make sure you're physically and mentally prepared for competition?
Physically: Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, stay hydrated, and consume solid nutrient dense meals before competition.
Mentally: I keep it simple. Kick it high and let it fly. If I get away from this approach, step away, deep breath, repeat.
Describe your recovery strategies. How do you know if those recovery strategies are working?
My main recovery strategies are sleep and stretching. I try to get a minimum of 8 hours per night of good sleep mainly because sleep is when the body repairs itself the most.
When it comes to stretching, I target the areas that are most bound up and I know when this works based off of my mobility. If my mobility is lacking, then my stretching was not up to par.
What's Your "Y"?
I truly believe God places opportunities right in front of our eyes, and it is up to us humans to take advantage of such opportunities and get the most out of them.
Now that leads me to ask you a question:
If you are given an opportunity of a lifetime, would you want to look back one day and say you did not give it your all, or you gave it everything you had and left nothing behind?
I made up my mind and have chosen the latter of the two, which is why I train as hard as I do.
Where do you see yourself as an athlete in 5 years?
I see myself playing baseball in the Major Leagues. That is my goal, and that always has been my goal, plain and simple.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”
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