Sunday, May 30, 2010

To Become a Champion

To quote Daniel Chambliss, author the book CHAMPIONS:

"To become a Champion, you have to do what Champions do."

Mr. Chambliss' point here is extremely important. The day to day behavior of an individual determines if someone is truly a Champion. Winning medals is great, and so is setting records and qualifying for international swimming teams; I know I've been super hyped up by great athletes who have done these things. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for high level performance.

But it's WHAT YOU DO to get there that is the key, and for this reason I believe that becoming a true Champion is possible for everyone -- including those who may never reach the Olympic podium, or become superstars in their particular field.

A true Champion knows that finding their own path, limits, and abilities to achieve is an ultimate test of self; and testing one's own boundaries as an athlete (or as a student, or as a professional of any sort) is really the part of life that allows us to feel alive, worthwhile, and good about ourselves.

We've all heard it said that we only use a portion of our brains. I've heard the number as 10%: we only actually use 10% of our brain, and the rest of our brain is just a kind of neural potential. I don't know how accurate the number 10% is, but I do get the point: we don't use all we've got....

I believe that "10%" statement can carry over to many areas of our lives. We just don't do all we can do to be really good at things. As humans, we tend to procrastinate. We tend to do things that allow us to be comfortable rather than successful. We tend to use only a percentage of our potential when preparing to do anything at all.

And perhaps most importantly, we don't imagine how great we can actually become. We don't see the potential Champion within ourselves. As people and as athletes, we need to use our imaginations better than we do -- to create a mental picture of what it is we want to be, and how we would like to behave. We need to imagine how hard we can actually work, and ignite that desire to DO that work to succeed at the highest levels of whatever it is we are doing.

Unitl we can see ourselves doing great things, and until we can notice the parts of ourselves that need to change in order to unlock the unlimited potential within, we will continue to pace ourselves through life until we are simply too old or too tired to do anything about it.

"To become a Champion, you have to do what Champions do".

Anyone can be a Champion with the proper attitude and outlook. You can start to become a Champion right now, simply by raising your expectations. Expect to be a better athlete tomorrow than you were today. Expect to be a better coach tomorrow than you were today. Expect to be a better professional tomorrow than you were today.

Michael Jordan said, "You have to expect something from yourself before you can do it."

Let's start today.