Ever heard the story of the naturally talented athlete that everybody thought would be the next number 1 – but then never quite made it and they seemed to disappear from the sport as quickly as they appeared?
The athletic and sports world is full of these tales, names that became superstars overnight, only to fade as soon as the pressure began to build!
Or, if you’re a sports person or athlete, have you ever found yourself walking into your gym or training facility and thinking to yourself, “my heads just not in it today”
So what’s the difference between the top sports people who make it and thrive, and the ‘also rans’ that had a chance of success, but could never quite turn their raw talent into consistent wins?
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!
Mindset! Pure and simple – it’s the same thing that makes millionaires, work ethic, heart, passion, persistence, will, goal driven, willing to listen, learn and then act, never give up attitude, the ability to focus on the task even when things may not be going their way, and finally somebody who can raise their game to the next level when they have to!
Imagine, you think you’re performing at 100%, then somebody points a gun to your head – do you think you’d find a way of performing even harder?
Take for example a guy like Michael Phelps, the American former competitive swimmer. If you don’t know his history then in short, he’s the most decorated Olympian of all time. He holds the all time record for Olympic golds along with several other records. But it was his appearances at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where his mental attitude and toughness shone through.
At the Olympics that year Phelps took 8 gold medals and broke 8 Olympic records in the process, but it was the 7th of his golds that proved his mental toughness. He won that race by 0.01 seconds! Now, do you think that win came from talent, nutrition or training (obviously it’s all important) or just pure mental attitude and a do or die trying mentality?
And always remember, he had already been through the time trials and the previous 6 race’s and held nothing back, AND knew he also had 1 more race to compete in. (Which he won!)
So how do athletes achieve this mindset? And can the average human being ever hope to achieve this same state of mind to help them break any boundaries they may have?
The short answer is YES! But competing and winning are about more than just working your ass off, working out consistently, and having your nutrition in place, you’ve also got to learn to have a calm, confident, optimistic mindset that doesn’t falter under pressure the first time you have a loss or poor result!
If you’ve never lost, you probably haven’t tested yourself hard enough!
Now understand, this mindset doesn’t just happen, even the top athletes in their chosen sports have had to work on themselves mentally! (most people don’t notice, but all the top athletes will have at least 2 coaches at their events, the chief coach, and the mental coach. And this can be seen as far back as the early 1920’s in Germany). So, what are the qualities of a winning mindset?
1. Determination – You believe that you’re BIG vision is possible. Although others may have doubt, they’re not able to deter you from doing everything necessary to achieve your full potential. Playing small is not an option.
If people aren’t laughing at your dreams then they probably aren’t big enough!
2. Initiative – Your winning mindset compels you to be a leader. As a self-starter you’re not waiting for anyone to give you permission.
Don’t wait for opportunity – create it!
3. Motivation – Highly driven athletes with a BIG vision are driven to be their best. They love to see how far they can push the envelope, especially when told that something isn’t possible.
You can’t put a limit on anything, the more you dream, the further you get!
4. No Excuses – You accept full responsibility for your performance. There may be times that you don’t know how to do something. But that’s okay, because you know someone has the solution. And you’re aim is to discover the best strategy available.
There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested you only do it when its convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results!
5. Strengths Based Approach – Playing to your strengths is your competitive edge. So your advantage is maximizing your talents to set you apart from the other athletes.
Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weakness!
6. Extra mile – There’s little competition for athletes that go the extra mile. A winning mindset believes that even when no one is looking, you continue to push yourself toward excellence.
Today I will do what others don’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t!
7. Tough Minded – You know that improvements happen when you’re being stretched beyond your comfort zone. And you’d rather take calculated risks than play it safe. When the pressure is on, you’re mentally tough enough to rise up to the challenge.
If you’re going through hell – keep going!
There’s obviously so much more to do with actually learning all these traits such as, dropping negative thoughts, creating positive thoughts and actions, setting goals, visualisation, mindfulness and modelling (the process of copying the best) just to name a few.
If you feel you could do with some mental coaching to get ahead in your chosen sport then please feel free to either leave me a comment below, drop me an email at HERE, or shoot over to my website HERE to see what services I can offer!