I received the text below from my son’s swim team coach, and I thought it was really applicable to all sports – triathlon included. What do you think? Any other things that “great athletes” do?
Great athletes complete their strength training assignments in full: They realize that skipping little bits and pieces of their strength/agility assignment may not affect them much in their lack of strength/agility, but their skipping will affect them in their daily practice of functioning with focused integrity – the type of focused integrity one needs to be successful at the highest level of pressurized racing.
Great athletes view practice as a chance to perform at a high level: From “predicting” performance in practice to applying perfect technique, the best athletes find a way to make practice a mini-competition…even though it’s only in their own mind.
Great athletes have their best practices after their worst practices: To do this, an athlete must first actually judge their own practice performance – and then issue a grade for themselves (or a score of some sort). Great athletes enjoy leaving a practice knowing that they have improved – and so if in the mind of the athlete, improvement hasn’t occurred during a particular practice, the best make sure big improvement gains happen the next time out.
Great athletes are optimistic as they approach a performance: It’s easy to look for reasons that we think may lead to inferior performance (poor practice performances, bad warmups, “feeling” isn’t “right”, amount of rest achieved the night before competition isn’t adequate), but the best athletes don’t think along those lines. The top athlete at any competition are in a mind state that is centered around controlling their environment – and are optimistic in their excitement to “let it go.”
Great athletes tell themselves the truth: Athletes will always view themselves in an honest light. The mirror they look through shows the true reality of their own situation (as it pertains to training effort in andout of the athletic forum). There is no room for shortcuts in a top athlete’s preparation, and the best athletes will recognize a potential short cut – and take the alternaitve (tougher, more detailed) option.