Think Like An Athlete

mindset Jul 21, 2021

The Olympic athletes will be jumping, swimming, throwing, hurdling, vaulting and much much more.  In fact, by the time we see these ‘race-ready’ athletes you would agree that they make it look so easy.  But what skills and characteristics are necessary to become a top athlete and can we relate these to our own lives?  To discuss this in more detail, we’ve highlighted 9 top traits that the majority of athletes possess and what Wilma had in abundance in order to elevate her to stardom.

  1. Social support -  In sport a healthy network is essential. From helping with technique, overcoming challenges and nutritional tips, as the saying goes there is no ‘I’ in TEAM.

  2. Long term focus - Athletes are not thinking about the short term.  In fact those that were questioned following the delay to the 2020 Japanese games had no reservations continuing with training for an extra year or even more.

  3. Delegation - This is about realistic time-management skills.  Athletes want to be training and training and training.  Almost everything else has to wait.  Therefore, in order to ensure there is enough time, they have to be able and willing to delegate a multitude of tasks to others around them.

  4. Work-ethic - They give 100% and nothing less!

  5. Motivation - Athletes are able to see the finish line and can build huge amounts of motivation towards achieving their goals.
  6. Sacrifice -  In order to be the best in your sport you have to be willing to make sacrifices.  The most obvious is in nutrition but there’s also social events that are missed and huge amounts of time away from friends and family in order to fit in these exceptional training requirements.  Not to mention that many athletes don’t receive any money and therefore are sacrifices many home comforts to become the best.

  7. Enjoyment - There is a deep love for their sport which helps to motivate them to continue.  This can because they feel fit and healthy or simply working on a sport that they really enjoy. 

  8. Mental toughness - Being an athlete is a grueling task with many failures along the way.  It is crucial that athletes maintain mental toughness to help them to push through the hard times.

  9. Competitiveness -  There has to be the desire to win and be the best. 

Bringing this back to you, one can see that if we removed the word athlete and put your name into each of those sentences, they could relate to how we live our own lives.  There are always periods when we should be delegating more or leaning on others for more social reassurance.  We all want to have fulfillment and joy in our day and want to build mental resilience to cope with set-backs.

In summary,  we may not all be competing in the Tokyo Olympic 2021 but for each and every one of us, we are all on a journey to be the best we can be.  You may recognise some of these traits in yourself and spot other traits where you are lacking, but as you move through life remember the famous phrase - “dedication is what you need if you want to be a record-breaker’.

Author: Dr. Adam Greenfield, Co-founder of WorkLifeWell | Doctor of Chiropractic | Wellness Specialist

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