Becoming a Successful Athlete.
Understanding what it takes to becoming a successful athlete, is important. Although, there are millions of factors that contribute to this, so we have put together our top 5 tips to becoming a successful athlete!
The reason behind this article came from an conversation between myself and a young athlete desperate for success. So, hopefully, this article will help similar athletes asking the same type of questions.
1. Commit to the Team
First of all, commitment is defined as the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause (your team) or activity (your sport). Although, commitment isn’t tangible and you can’t quantify it, the levels of commitment are ever changing. So, thats the task, understand what level you need to reach and smash it!
A locker room full of teammates who are willing to work hard and work together every day at practice, even when not under the coach’s eye, is crucial to having a successful season. Realise that a good teammate doesn’t try to be the best player on the team; they focus on being the best player for the team, though at times this can be difficult – stick with it!
2. Put in Extra “Quality” Time
Spending 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after practice working on your game will give you an advantage over the competition. Some players choose to talk about their day while they slowly lace up their shoes, or duck out of practice as quickly as possible. Realise that being different is just one level away from being great. Twenty minutes of additional practice six days in a row adds up to another full practice during your week. Although its more about quality practice rather then quantity of practice, if you are adding 120 more minutes of practice to your week, make sure its worth while!
“Go Hard or Go Home!”
Work on your game and be ready for your big moment; or don’t and be ready for a teammate to take your spot in the lineup. Your choice!
You either have Excuses or Results, you can’t have both! So where do you lye? Those that want to be the best and achieve the most; they work harder for results and never give an excuse!
3. Know Your Teammates
To become a successful athlete you need to know Your Teammates. How you work with your teammates when things are going wrong, strongly influences how successful you will be. Also influencing how far you will go as an athlete.
So, great teammates are positive, supportive, understanding, forgiving and passionate about helping those around them achieve greatness. Learn about your teammates. Enjoy being around them away from practices and games. Sit with different teammates on road trips. Strike up conversations to learn about what motivates them. The time, effort and energy you put into reaching out to your teammates will come back to you many times over.
Being a good teammate isn’t a big thing; it’s a million little things, so get working!
4. Protect Your “Brand”
You may not be getting paid to play, though you can always act as if you had a one-day contract worth $1 million. How hard would you work to have your contract renewed tomorrow? Would you…
- Eat healthier; give up the fast food!
- Hydrate more often; what you drink also!
- Sleep better; minimum of 8 hours!
- Practice harder; first there, last to leave!
- Don’t ignore your teammates and coach; show respect to everyone!
- Be a better teammate; know each of your teammates well!
- Not be a distraction when away from the team; act professional on and off the field!
Realise that regardless of whether you are playing in a friendly fixture, a tournament, or been invited to international trials, certainly adopt the motion that people are watching. You are a brand, and you want to be seen in a positive light. You have to become a brand worth investing in, because your worth investing in.
5. Understand the Process
Finally, “When you are not getting better, you are getting worse” is a cliché that may intimidate many athletes. Improve just one rep each day, and push yourself outside your comfort zone. If you are lucky enough to be around a coach who pushes you, holds you accountable, and may even be demanding at times, consider it a gift. Although it may be stressful, they probably see something in you that you don’t yet see in yourself.
Stay positive and believe in the process. No successful athlete ever started out that way. They all found it in themselves to make their bad days better and draw confidence from the days when they did well. You are never as bad as your worst day, and you are never as good as your best. Find it in yourself to stay level-headed and hungry to become more for your coaches, teammates, family and yourself.
Some research have suggested that it can take up to 10 years (10,000 hours) to make it as a elite athlete, so chill and enjoy the ride!
So, 5 key messages for becoming a successful athlete
- Commit to the team,
- Commit to your development,
- Socialise with your team,
- Development is a marathon, not a sprint,
As a result of integrating the above 5 tips, you will start to feel more confident in your performances, integration into the team, and general participation in sport.