At tournaments, athletes gear up to give every game everything they’ve got. The outcome of years of training comes down to just a few days, or even moments—all of it watched closely by billions of people worldwide.
As well as being in absolute peak physical condition, every athlete will need to be in just as good condition mentally—or psychologically— in order to handle the multitude of pressures awaiting them. Here are 6 key lessons Top Athletes can teach you about success.
1. Ignore the competition
Champions focus very much on themselves and their own abilities rather than others. This may sound strange because sport is all about beating the competition, but even the most decorated athletes like Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian in history, have been beaten. If he put too much emphasis on coming first all of the time, then that would crush him.
2. Good is the enemy of great
Champions decide early on that if they are willing to accept that “good “ is enough for them that they will never have a chance to be great. They realize that the odds on being the best are against them but that is what excites them. They want to separate themselves from the pack. The challenge is to do something special. And true for everyone else, to become successful you will have to be willing to do what unsuccessful people don’t do and that is saying no to the good, so you can say yes to the great.
Champions don’t go into the competition thinking “o ; if I can just come out bottom I will be alright” NO ; they expect to win and so they give it their best shot. In fact they are surprised when they don’t win. They expect success and their positive beliefs often lead to positive actions and outcomes.
3. Connect your brain to success
Top Athletes can learn to trigger a feeling of success through smell and sound alone— outside of competitions. For example, when some athletes are feeling in a really strong, powerful state during training, they smell lavender oil and listen to a certain song. They then repeat these steps before competitions to bring back those powerful feelings.
4. Put in the work
Talented , yes they are; but far from talent , Champions put in tons of hours of preparation. Many hours are spent in closed door sessions studying analytics and game films and visualizing every possible situation they could face and knowing how they will respond when they face it. There is constant anticipation of problems and preparations physically, mentally, emotionally, and strategically for an effective response. The true champions prepare for the expected as well as the unexpected. As a result on game day it often is made to look easy.
Michael Jordan (as are all the greats in any sport) would spend hours practicing, long after everyone else goes home. Winston Churchill, considered by many to be one of the best orators of the 20th century, actually spent much of his time rehearsing and preparing his speeches. The only thing people saw though were eloquently and brilliantly delivered talks without any notes.
Without preparation, winning , whether on a football field, on a basketball court or in business is simply not possible.
Champions put in adequate preparations and make sacrifices because they know that to get extraordinary results or live extraordinary lives, they need to pay a price.
5. Be your biggest fan
Faced with the competition, champions often remind and convince themselves of things they’ve done successfully in the past. Because often, when the nerves hit, you start doubting yourself.
Recalling great training sessions, race times and hours dedicated to honing certain skills can combat negative thoughts creeping into an athlete’s mind when under pressure. For example, top tennis player Andy Murray often leafs through a notebook during his tennis matches to remind him that he’s prepared, capable and ready to win.Moreover champions believe they will experience more wins in the future – Their faith is greater than their fear. Their positive energy is greater than the chorus of negativity. Their certainty is greater than all the doubt. Their passion and purpose are greater than their challenges. In spite of their situation, champions believe their best days are ahead of them, not behind them.