I am probably an expert in the area of fear and panic attacks. It is ironic that someone on the small side ends up coaching in the world of professional football with very large and intimidating athletes. Growing up being one of the small kids probably contributed to my constant anxiety, stress and sometimes fear. It is difficult to have any joy when you are experiencing those emotions.
Fortunately, I had an older brother who was one of the bigger kids and best athletes in high school. He always took a very protective posture for his little brother. It probably kept me from being bullied. Which is and always has been an issue that is serious and real. I am grateful for my brother having my back, but until you can overcome your anxiety and fear on your own it will never be conquered.
I have the utmost empathy for anyone who is constantly living with fear. Somehow I found a way to cope and battle through my own anxiety and fear. One tool for me was my daily scripture reading. Scripture states “Be Not Afraid” many times over and over. That alone helped me and my anxiety knowing that no matter what happened I would always be victorious in my faith!
I didn’t play organized football until 9th grade and again had to overcome the fear of contact because I had never experienced it. Tackling drills were not organized by similar sizes. If it came to the smallest vs the biggest, that was the luck of the draw. Surviving that on my own was one of the last steps of learning to overcome my fears and anxiety to build some self-esteem.