They practice the basics to a sickening degree. They know that building the strongest foundation of basic skills required in their sport of choice will set them apart from the rest. And most of them don’t even think like that, what will drive them is simply the fact that they have out worked every single person they are competing against at the time. It is a huge part of the winning formula.
Georges St Pierre has been quoted as saying that as soon as he knows who he is fighting, he is visualising himself winning that fight. Immediately. He manipulates his mind to the state of obsession in how he will achieve this vision and desire. He has said that every single second of every single day leading up to a fight he never stops thinking about his opponent, how he is going to defeat them, and every single “1%” he can draw from his preparation to get the edge.
Wayne Gretzky has been hailed as the greatest ice hockey player of all time. He once said “a good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be” think about this statement for a minute. I believe this tells us two very important things about an exceptional mindset in an athlete.
1. think about how much mental preparation and vision is required to anticipate what is going to happen next in a competitive environment like that.
2. The amount of concentration that is focused on the next move to make , and more importantly, that moment and that moment only. When you are completely immersing yourself in that one moment, you gain clarity and you gain your best performance.
So if you’re just trying to get that extra rep in the gym, or you have your sights set on being the greatest in your chosen sport then visualize yourself achieving this. Visualize every single minute detail, everything you touch, see, hear, taste, and every movement.
I’m going to focus on three key elements that are often overlooked.
The greatest had an unshakeable vision that they were going to be.. Well.. the greatest. Take Muhammad Ali for example – Nuf’ said yeah?
It wasn’t arrogance because they could back it up. It was their vision and their intuition constantly driving them towards that vision. And nothing else mattered.
Michael Jordan once played 27 holes of golf in the morning before an NBA game that same evening. If they had a free throw competition after training, he was never the one to quit. If he was getting beaten he would stay there for hours until he won. He knew that for every shot he missed, it was one step closer to perfection on the court.
A champion team
All the people I’ve spoken about clearly had a special gift, but guaranteed they would not be able to achieve what they did without a team of experts all working towards the same common goal. It has been said the most successful people are not necessarily the smartest or most talented, but that they are able to recruit a group of experts that directly related to what they were trying to achieve. Whether it’s business or sport, the same idea applies. Without a strong team of experts in your chosen field you can never do alone what you could with your gang of experts fine tuning every aspect of your goal in order to excel.