Beyond Talent and Motivation

Beyond Talent and Motivation

RonHaving worked with hundreds of good athletes, I’ve been thinking about the characteristics that appear unique to the handful of great athletes that have come into my life.

What separates the great from the good?

So far this month, we’ve read about goal setting; where to focus base training; how to review our seasons; mental conditioning and enhancing motivation. Being privy to the editorial calendar, I can tell you that there are more articles coming that will help you out.

People that persist at something as difficult as ironman are driven by more than the desire for achievement. They want to really breakthrough. There is a desire for greatness that permeates our sport.

When we look at exceptional athletes, what lessons can we apply to our own lives? What is different from the way we live our lives?

  • They know their mission
  • They simplify their lives to achieve their mission
  • Their mistakes are visible
  • They change as a result of their mistakes

Bring your mission down to a single sentence for each key area for your life (family, work, self). Here are mine:

  • Love Monica
  • Deliver Value
  • Train Daily

Know the price of your time, so you will be at peace when you say “no” to attractive opportunities. The best athletes that I’ve worked with are also really good at saying “no” with compassion (or they are great at creating total isolation!).

Ironman is an interesting niche — consider nutrition — many of us hurt ourselves with excessive control, while living in a society that is, broadly, out of control.

Great athletes have the ability to discipline themselves enough to get the job done, but not so much that they break down. Keeping track of mistakes is a good way to figure out your relationship with control. You should also know your coach’s blind spots, with regards to control.

Athletic mistakes (injury, excessive fatigue, poor performance, weight gain, chronic depletion, immune suppression) are a normal part of our journey. Typically, most of us will rationalize away our errors with an external cause. With any repeating set-back, look for the internal cause.

When I think about the highest achievers, they have an ability to learn from their errors and take steps to limit repeating the same errors. They also have the confidence to stand by their decisions.

The difference between a good race and a great race likely comes down to a dozen key decisions across the year. As a good athlete, you’re already doing things right. Get visibility where you may have gotten in your own way last year.

As you head into the new year — keep what worked and simply your life so you can do more of what you’re good at. When you do your season review — seek counsel to create a limited number of guidelines to protect you from your extreme tendencies.

Categories: Lifestyle

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