5 Lessons Athletes Can Teach Us by Jesse Dietrick, CSCS
April 1st marked my three-year anniversary working at Fitness Quest 10. Over the course of three years I have worked with MANY athletes. Professional, collegiate, high-school, and youth. I have noticed that the athletes who seem to achieve high levels of success have similar mindsets. They may be motivated by different things, but the way they approach achieving their goals are very similar. The funny thing is that these characteristics, in my opinion, are necessary whether you are an athlete or not towards finding success towards your health, business, and relationships.
1 – Compete
The best athletes love to COMPETE. Man, just hearing that word gets me fired up. Competition drives results and it is necessary towards success. Add competition into your life. Whether it is a friendly game of pick-up basketball with your kids to improve activity towards your family’s health; achieving certain business numbers by a deadline to push your company to the next level; or getting your husband or wife to go to the gym with you and encourage each other to achieve their goals. These are all healthy ways to compete and drive success in all areas of your life.
2 – Use what you have
Aqua Man couldn’t use his powers in the desert, the Flash doesn’t drive a car when he can run faster than sound. Success for athletes, and for YOU, are no different. The best athletes do what they do best and do it over and over again. Drew Brees doesn’t try to scramble like Mike Vick did, Sidney Crosby doesn’t fight very often, Bryce Harper doesn’t pitch. To be honest, ALL of us stink at 99% of everything that we do. That other 1% represents our ONE THING that is our superpower. It’s where our passions and personality comes from and no one is better at it in the whole world than YOU! Apply this strategy to areas of your life. In your health, you may not be the fastest, but man you can lift heavy things and can get very fit from that. In work, you may not be the best a crunching numbers and working on spreadsheets, but you can interact with customers better than anyone and convert sales. In your relationships, you may not be the best “talker,” but you can write out your concerns for your loved one and listen to them better than anyone else around. Use the superpowers instilled in you.
3 – Find ways to get better, assess, and learn
All athletes and sports teams have the same goal. To win championships. To do that they need to find ways to improve, assess where they are at, learn and be smarter than the competition. It is no different in everyday life. What goals do we have for ourselves when it comes to our health, business, and relationships? You know, less than 3% of people have written goals. This is tragic as success is hard to find without a goal because motivation will dry out. Write down goals you have for these areas of your life. Find ways you can get better, maybe through adjusting schedule, improving your diet, delegating work, or improving how you communicate. Assess yourself for where you are at NOW, and find ways to be smarter so that achieving those goals can be easier.
4 – Be grateful and don’t flaunt
Great teams and great athletes don’t flaunt victory because they know that they will get their butts kicked in the future. Remember when the Cincinnati Bengals cleaned their cleats with the Terrible Towel after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers IN Pittsburgh? Yeah, you may not, but I, as a huge Steelers fan do, and guess what, the Steelers beat up on them the next time they played them and knocked them out of the playoffs. Life is no different. Be grateful for how far you have come as a person whether it is in your business, health, and relationships, and be humble enough to know you still have room to improve.
5 – Determination will get you results
Do you know who James Harrison is? Let me tell you. He is 38 and is STILL playing at a high level in the NFL as a linebacker. His determination set him apart. After a Sunday night game in the wild card of the playoffs this past season, Harrison got back to Pittsburgh in the early hours of the morning and instead of going home to sleep he drove straight to team headquarters and got his workout in because he didn’t want to miss his Monday morning workout. This determination set him apart. He was undrafted, set the all-time sack record as a Steeler, won a Super Bowl, and won defensive player of the year in 2008. How determined are we towards our goals whether it be health, business, or relationship related? I challenge you to set BIGGER goals if you struggle finding determination. You may not need to workout at 3 am like James Harrison, but if it you had to, you would do it.