When you’re young and full of imagination you rarely place limits on yourself or what you can accomplish – why should it be any different when you get older? the old adage, “You Must Believe to Achieve” is very true. If you don’t know deep inside that you can accomplish your athletic goals then you are setting yourself up for failure.
I suppose this idea of “belief in my abilities” was instilled in me as a young child, when my parents would remind me almost daily that I was capable of anything I put my mind and full effort into. It just so happened that sports was where I excelled and training and competing became my focus.
See It in Your Mind’s Eye
It sounds cheesy but your imagination is the most important component of accomplishing your sports goals. This is true in many aspects of your life, sports, academics, love – you must not limit yourself to what is “now”. Lay in bed at night and imagine yourself where you want to be. Are you throwing that touchdown pass, making that game-winning slapshot, shooting the game tying free-throw?
If you continue this ritual every day, you eventually believe it to be true. In essence you are conditioning your mind to already act as if you’ve accomplished these goals – long before you ever have. This is key to overcoming any potential setbacks in your fitness endeavor. If you want to be the best you can be at your sport you need to live like you already are there. Is your goal to make it to the Olympics one day? Then see yourself standing on that podium, waving the flag and being cheered on by the world.
Time to Grind
So obviously you can’t just sit around and dream about being a great athlete all day – eventually you have to put in the work. No amount of imagination is going to substitute busting your butt day in and day out. No, instead they go hand-in-hand; you must know that you can achieve something in order to drive yourself to working hard enough to attain it.
Another great way to keep yourself on track and motivated is to work with a good personal fitness trainers that specializes in training athletes within sport. Often times they will have entire fitness complexes dedicated to training clients. This can be a great way to really find your potential by having someone else help you bring it out.
Don’t Fake It
“You can only be YOU, but YOU can always be better”. A curious saying but true all the same. It’s great to have idols and sports legends to look up to but never lose yourself in your endeavor to reach their level of greatness. You may have to make some compromises to reach your goals – time with family and friends, work, partying – but NEVER compromise your personal beliefs just to be a better athlete.
Being Confident Doesn’t Mean Being a Dick
Many young sports stars end up going down the wrong path as soon as they make it big. All the fame and money goes to their head and they start forgetting what it was like to imagine themselves achieving their sports fantasy. Never loose touch with who you really are and never stop being humble. If you do happen to make it big, take your position as a way to give back to the world. Not only will it make you a better person, it will make YOU feel better and love the fact that you made it so far even more.