“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.”-Muhammad Ali
Growing up, I remember Wheaties cereal being a staple on our breakfast table. I’ll admit that I hated the cereal but loved the tagline: Breakfast of Champions. Well, they must have sold my parents on that concept and it was a staple in our kitchen cabinet. My favorite thing about seeing the cereal box was that it was a reminder that we were capable of greatness. Kinda corny, yet a powerful message. We love the idea of being a champion, yet some of us believe that it’s reserved for those high achievers in life. The problem is that our society has distorted the concept of championship. We think about the rewards and not process. We focus on the outcome but not the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication it takes to be a champion. What if we didn’t talk to our kids about being champions but instead gave them the tools to develop a champion mindset. You’re probably thinking: “What’s the difference?”
Most people who are champions are not slackers, or have a sense of entitlement. What they have is strong work ethics and a way of thinking that helps them to accomplish their goals. If my sons have a champion attitude, imagine what they can do in life.
What do champions do differently?
- They set priorities.
- They set realistic and attainable goals.
- They have organized thought patterns.
- They analyze their action plans.
- They trust their instincts.
- They are intrinsically motivated.
- They align their actions with their strengths and values.
Here are 5 tips that can help your son develop the mindset of a champion. Keep in mind your son’s temperament and level of motivation. Most champions are passionate about their work and dreams. You can use these tips to guide your son to doing his best for whatever he is most passionate about.
1. Pay Attention to the Details
Olympians do not wing it or make assumptions. They take into consideration their strengths and their weaknesses. They also do the same for their competitors. Besides the hours they spend practicing, they also review what they need to do to excel. Help your son to pay attention to details by asking him open ended questions that utilize his critical thinking skills. For example, If your son failed his science test, ask him “What could you have done differently to pass this test?” “What will you do to ensure you pass your next test?”
2. Avoid Negative Distractors
Our kids have so many distractions, that it is easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. As adults, we know how social media or television can distract us, so imagine how much more challenging it is for kids. Keep your son focused by setting limits and helping him create a plan for work and for play. Get him tools that will help him to organize his time .
3. Envision Winning
This is pretty simple. You don’t win by envisioning yourself losing. Help your son create a vision board for what he wants to achieve. Help him set short and long term goals. Olympians always have the end in mind.
4. Role Models and Mentors
Champions do not work alone. They have family, friends, coaches, and mentors that keep them motivated. In order for your son to excel, he needs to have a support system. Having a trusted mentor is one of the best resources for your son. A mentor can help him better understand his strengths and weaknesses.
5. Have Passion For What You’re Doing
One of the mistakes we make as parents is not paying attention to the difference between encouraging our sons to succeed and pushing our sons after they’ve lost passion for an activity or hobby. When your child is no longer interested in something, forcing, bribing or threatening them to continue only creates a power struggle. It’s not about us, it’s about them. we have to help them identify if they have lost their passion because they feel discouraged or they lost it because they develop new interests. Champions practice, study and work hard because they love what they do.
Originally appeared at Raising Great Men.com