What makes up a true champion? Is it a case full of trophies, revealing in tangible truth of victories an athlete has achieved?
I believe this is not what makes up a true champion.
While trophies and victories showcase the end result of a champion’s performance, it is not the making of a champion.
It all starts with a mindset.
To become a true champion, we must think like a true champion.
A true champion really knows that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.
A true champion has a clear vision, takes small steps forward, reflects on the learning experiences, and builds that learning into betterment.
What Is A Champion Mindset?
“If you act like a champion, you will become a champion.” — George St-Pierre
True champions are made long before the final out is made or the last second ticks away.
That is the end result. An outcome that only comes from approaching the game in a way that gives you the best chance of winning. That is where a championship mindset comes into play.
A champion mindset is a mindset that allows you to perform your best.
Anyone that works on adopting this mindset will not only get better at what they do, but they will have the chance to be the best at what they do.
Mindset is the biggest factor in success. Your mindset impacts each and every decision that you take.
Your mindset determines how you behave under pressure and how you behave when pressure is off.
It is important to develop the right mindset and personality traits that will change your life; when you implement them on a consistent basis.
It is one of the most important lessons that I ever learned. Your outcomes are not determined by who you are for a few minutes; they are determined by the person you are on a consistent basis.
Is It Talent or Effort That Makes A Champion Mindset?
“Champions don’t become champions when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it.” — Michael Jordan
Sports can teach us a lot about a champion mindset. Many natural athletes don’t make it, while other athletes with deficiencies do. For instance, Pete Gray, with only one arm, made it to the major leagues; successful golfer Ben Hogan was an uncoordinated child, and the runner Glenn Cunningham’s legs were badly burned.
The many obvious examples of failed naturals and successful, though flawed, athletes should have debunked the myth of talent, but it hasn’t.
3 Champion Mindset Examples
Here are more examples of the champion mindset trumping pure talent.
1. Michael Jordan
Basketball great Michael Jordan wasn’t a natural, but he was extremely hardworking.
He was cut from his high school team, which devastated him, but his mother told him to discipline himself and work harder and he did, getting up early each morning to practice before school.
Michael Jordan wasn’t recruited by his preferred college and ended up at the University of North Carolina, where he continued his focus on practice, working constantly on his skills and weaknesses.
Even at the height of his career, he worked doggedly on getting better.
2. Wilma Rudolph
Wilma Rudolph was christened the world’s fastest woman after winning three gold medals in 1960. But she was very ill as a child and suffered a paralyzed left leg due to polio.
After years of physical therapy, Wilma Rudolph pursued basketball and track. She lost every race in her first track meet but she kept working to improve.
Looking back on an amazing career, she said she just wanted to be remembered as hardworking.
3. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, perhaps the greatest female athlete ever, competed in the heptathlon, which included running, hurdles, javelin, shot putt, and long jump. She set world records and won six Olympic medals in multiple sports.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee had talent, but when she first started running, there was no winning for a long time. She kept striving towards getting faster and when the wins came her way it was due to her hard work. Seeing improvement motivated her to work even harder.
The Anatomy of a Champion Mindset
Naturals do exist in sports, but for some talented athletes with fixed mindsets, talent can be a drawback.
They become enamored with their superior ability and never stretch themselves or learn to work and handle failure.
They don’t develop character, which is the ability to persevere despite challenges that grow from mindset. Character is an important element of the champion mindset.
Whether it is sports or other areas of life, here are some character traits that are significantly valuable when deciding to foster a champion mindset. As you read, think about the changes you can make so you can become a true champion.
A true champion exhibits persistence on a daily basis. They don’t fade in the face of obstacles, they plow through tirelessly, always striving towards their goal.
If you want to be a a true champion, there is no time for fear. It will only hold you back. If you have a dream — don’t be afraid to do everything it takes to reach for it.
3. Think Before You Speak
A true champion is not afraid to speak their mind, but they make sure that everything they say is well thought out for maximum effect.
A true champion means what they say. They don’t hide behind fake words and empty praise. They are confident enough to say what they mean.
5. Positive Attitude
A true champion has bad days but they don’t let them take over their life. They stay positive, keep a healthy attitude, and focus on their goals.
True champions are fueled by their values and beliefs. They know what they believe in and don’t waver in troubling times.
Helping people is one of the best ways to generate the good that fosters a champion mindset.
If you really want to be a true champion, you have to want it really badly. Be hungry for ambition. If your ambition is so strong, the question to ask yourself is not “if you will be a champion”, instead ask “when you will be a champion”.
True champions know that they are one hundred percent in control of their own destiny and don’t use excuses when things go wrong.
There is nothing weak about showing compassion. A true champion knows this. Using their ascent to greatness to uplift people around them creates the kind of goodwill that will ensure they continue winning.
“Practice is the price paid by the champion to become the champion.” — Robin Sharma
It’s not about doing well just once. A true champion should repeat his or her great work every single day.
Constant practice and discipline in the routine of a true champion will enable you to reach your heights in not only sports but as well as in life.
So now, it’s your turn; take the leap, foster a champion mindset, and become a true champion.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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