Note: this post is focused on sport/athletes but also applies to any business person or anyone with ambitious and challenging projects.
Becoming a top athlete, achieving great performance, playing/racing to one’s full potential requires a lot. And it starts with readiness and commitment. Readiness to do what it takes, and commitment to follow through no matter what happens, no matter the obstacles. Here are a few questions to help you gage your level of readiness and commitment to your sport. Note that there is no right or wrong answer here. Just be honest and see what new awareness comes out of it. Then make a choice to adjust things according to your goals.
- Your VISION: What Vision do you have for yourself as an athlete? What is the strength of this vision? How much do you want this? How badly do you want it? How much desire do you have to be good or great?
- Your WHY: Why do you want to do your sport? List your internal and external reasons. Do you want this to outdo yourself and push your limits, do you want this to have a strong experience of friendships and adventure, do you want this to be well-known, or to get some recognition and be respected, maybe so you can help others, or to get a scholarship, or to make money, or maybe to travel, or to make a career of it? Whatever it is, you need to know, WHY you do what you do on a daily basis? This will get clearer non your goals and fuel your motivation.
- Your WHAT: What do you need to do on an annual/monthly/weekly/daily basis that will move you toward your ultimate goal? And, even more difficult, what are you willing to sacrifice? Saying YES to high level training and competing means saying NO to other things like going out to parties, watching a movie, staying up late at night, etc… Many athletes or high achievers say they want to play professionally or get a college scholarship. However, do you know what it takes now for you to get there? To be a great at anything takes a lot of dedication. \Which areas of your life are you willing to focus on, or cut back on? How much time do you put into practicing? How much time do you put into refining your technique and mental training so that you can master your sport? Be honest with yourself. Are you ready to invest the effort and time necessary to be the best at what you do? There is no substitute for hard work and smart work.
- Your COMMITMENT: How committed are you to make it happen? How committed are you to continue to practice, to give your best, even when the results won’t be there, even when you might be on the bench, when the doubts and negative self-talks will try to convince you that you are not god enough? It takes time to be great at anything and it requires to be able to “survive” negative periods. It’s easy to be motivated when things go well, much harder when things are not going as expected. Commitment is what will keep you going when times get tough.
- Your CARE: Do you truly love what you do? Is this your deepest desire? Your passion is what is going to drive you. Caring will help you keep your commitment. Things will not always be easy. There will be many obstacles, and if you do not love what you are doing, it will be hard to overcome them. It’s important to love what you to do to pursue it with excellence. And when you really care for your sport, how can you bring more of fun and passion to it?