We are all interested, some of us are even obsessed with sport icons and their performance. It's a captivating blend between glamour, fame and deserved recognition. Sportsmen and women are nowadays the closest we get to heroes. From football and tennis to dance and ice-skating most seem to be hard-workers to whom we are ready to give the verdict "s/he deserves" and we are happy for them. Their success moves us emotionally and they inspire us. That's the secret to the sports fever that hasn't died for centuries too.
I personally may not have one particular person I adore, but I am as strongly captivated by their "charisma" and performance as any true fan. My interest is fueled even further by the strong relationship between mental state and performance. The visibility of sport icons' achievements is so close to tangible that it is probably one of the best and most well understood examples of the importance and effectiveness of practical psychology (i.e. coaching techniques).
Many legends have shared their insight into the game of wining and achieving exceptional results, yet few of us have really taken on board the wisdom ... Why?
“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 (World HeavyWeight Champion Boxer)
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
-George Herman “Babe” Ruth (Baseball Legend)
"You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possibly be – in baseball and in life."
- Pete Rose (Baseball Great)
What makes them able to live by those standards, believe, find the inner strength, follow through? Have they just been born that way - with exceptional qualities and passion?
Unlikely. We've all at some point asked ourselves - "what is so unique about them, I struggle to see". The true success is not always in the visible qualities and the muscles. What those people have truly achieved is to cultivate the hunger for life and for playing. Cultivation of hunger is the same as developing a habit. You do it by repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again. A habit that can serve you in life and can make you a champion is rehearsed over and over again in your brain before and after the physical activity is actually undertaken.
“All I know is that the first step is to create a vision, because when you see the vision – the beautiful vision – that creates the want power.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Many professional players admit to using visualization before their games. They imagine the details, the victory, the amazing performance they are delivering. They put themselves in a mental state that enables them to tap into their full potential and true capability. That's the technique that you can adopt today - visualization!
It is time to develop your own vision. Imagine what would it be like when you achieve your goals. Rehears it day and night, visualize with emotional intensity, feel the feelings of having accomplished what you want... it's already a reality.
The brain does not distinguish daydreaming from reality and it finds ways to make it all happen!
So would you agree it's worth creating a habit for hunger or would you instead take the decision to not even try? One step at a time is all it takes - start daydreaming!