Let’s start with something basic here. You may not have the fastest swing. You may not be the best putter. You may not have the same talent as your opponent. Perhaps you don’t have the high caliber training facilities and great coaching opportunities that your competitors have. Your technique may be unorthodox. You may be physically limited by your size. All this notwithstanding, you can still become a champion and out-compete your opponents.
How? Simple! Maybe not so simple. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes! You have to be willing to outwork your competition. You have to be willing to do all the little things, much of which your opponents will not want to do. You have to do the sweaty, uncomfortable things many athletes avoid. There is a reason why Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy are the best at what they did or do. When they had team practices, they showed up early, and stayed later to work on their skills, mind, and leadership. The secret to success is tremendously boring. It’s all about deliberate, focused hard work! It’s all about the investment that you’re willing to make. You must have more conviction than everyone else if you want to accomplish more than everyone else! While the secret to success is available to all (5 Elements of Success), precious few are willing to take advantage of it today or ever. Why? Because far too many athletes view getting to their goal as just too much work!! Simple is HARD!!!
In fact, while you’re reading these words, 95% of the athletes out there are looking for ways to cut corners. They are complaining silently or aloud about having to push themselves to practice so hard or to follow their plan. They’re reaching for their phone, counting the seconds until practice is over and they can head for the showers. They are resenting their hard working teammates for taking things too seriously and going too hard. These athletes are kidding themselves into believing that they’ve done enough today. They’re fooling themselves into believing that they’re really prepared. They are lying to themselves!
I was recently watching a video of trout fish trying to migrate up a stream to get to the headwaters to spawn. It almost seems like an impossible task. The fish have to face steep inclines, waterfalls and raging currents going against them, virtually impassable barriers. Each time they try to scale these obstacles they are thrown back. Yet they continue to try, over and over again. I asked myself whether the fish are doing their best to make it upstream. The answer, “absolutely!” However, the more I thought about it, those fish aren’t doing their best! They are, in fact, doing whatever it takes! This is what being your best is all about: Doing whatever it takes!
Chances are good that you can look around and see athletes who have a lousy work ethic regularly outperform you; they may even hold a starting position while you have to sit the bench. You may bitterly complain to yourself or to whoever (mom and dad) will listen that it’s just not fair when you work so hard and they do little to nothing! They are not true competitors and sooner or later their bad habits will catch up to them. No one can ever achieve great success in anything with half-hearted effort. It just doesn’t happen! You must ignore them, Your job is to take responsibility for your training and to focus only on you. What’s really important here are your habits, not theirs!
In conclusion, take a PDI (Player Development Index) Assessment to get a honest look at your skills, specifically your weaknesses. Most athletes don’t like doing this. We know you don’t like working on your weaknesses because they’re not good at them and it’s not fun to be incompetent. You don’t like how it makes you feel to be inadequate at something. Guess what? You’ll always be limited by your weaknesses, so enthusiastically grab the opportunity that your weaknesses present you. Working on and strengthening your skills is the fastest and smartest way to bring your training up to the next level. Don’t take the easy way out. Get in the habit of going that one more degree, 212!! Don’t be satisfied with doing just enough to get by, you’re just simply lying to yourself. Get comfortable being uncomfortable! Think about what your competition is doing and then do more. Don’t just do your best. Do whatever it takes!
Enjoy Your Journey!