I’ve had the privilege to train a handful of athletes who were literally the best in the world and in the history of their sport. It’s humbling to be in a position of offering your help to someone who is far superior to you in talent.
When I train those type of elite athletes I often get excited because it’s a chance for me to learn more about my craft: athletic development. You can read books and blogs, or go to all the conferences you want but sometimes you’ll learn more in a session working with an Olympic-level athlete than in years of schooling.
I remember being amazed at some of the feats that I would witness in training sessions. Not in just shear numbers or strength output, but in their grace, rhythm and coordination.
How can this relate to you as an athlete if you’re not on track to make the next Olympic team? Here are a couple take-away points I’ve learned from working with these types of athletes. See if you can apply them to your training, to your journey.
– If belief is not first present no amount of talent can overcome it
– Nothing magical happens when you’re at an elite level, you’re doing the same training as you did before but you’re doing a greater amount of it, for a smaller improvement, with more on the line
– Even the most talented athletes have problems with some type of movement or lift, it’s doesn’t come natural to them either, but what usually makes them great is their unrelenting ability to pursue perfection
– If you don’t have a passion for what you’re doing you’ll eventually run out of fuel to pursue it
– Success doesn’t chase away insecurities, if anything it makes them bigger
– The higher the performance the more expectations and criticisms grow, learn to handle yours now before you get to another level
– Always learn and be open to new ideas, your ultimate goal isn’t being right, it’s being better
– Start preparing for your goals further out than your competition, beat them to perfecting the details
– You never get over being nervous before a big event, you just learn how to focus that energy and harness it for success
– Every day is an opportunity for you to get a little better or for your opponent, win the daily battles to get the ultimate goal