Wouldn’t it be great if we had a step-by-step recipe when it came to building the ultimate tennis champ? Just add 10 years of skill training, a half-decade of physical development and a sprinkle of mental skills...and voila, a world-class player, just like that!
Jokes aside, the topic of ‘what it takes to get to the top’, is eternally interesting. Whether you’re a coach, parent or athlete, achieving high levels of success in your chosen sport, is often a lifelong dream. The odds, however, are stacked against us all.
In last week’s post, we introduced the concept of grit. We also took a closer look at grit’s correlation to elite sport. What did we find? For one, according to recent evidence, elite athletes across many sports are grittier than their non-elite counterparts. Secondly, those same athletes more consistently commit to their sport over the long haul - in other words, they stick to it. And lastly, the grittier athletes (the elite), were more adept at persevering through challenges compared to non-gritty athletes.
About 6 months ago I hired a weightlifting coach. You might be wondering why. There are 2 main reasons - first, he owns a gym less than 50m from my front door. Second, he was a national champion weightlifter in Cuba, national champion in Canada (in his late 30s), silver medalist at the World Championships, coached a world champion and has worked with many athletes from many sports around the World. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
Below are some of the lessons I’ve learned; in training, sport and life.