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Not all athletes are the same. The ones that are great, who go on to become champions, they’ve got something special, and it’s not always a physical advantage. A lot of times, championship athletes have a certain mental something that helps them beat the competition. It’s a resilience, sharpness, toughness, that normal people just don’t have. It’s the ability to stay competitive no matter what, to stay hungry for the prize.
How can you tap into your own competitive fire and make sure you’re always hungrily chasing your next goal?
Develop a team orientated mindset
It can be easier grinding away in an effort to make yourself better when you know others are counting on you.
In an interview with Vice Sports, Darcy Vescio, the Australian rules footballer, said, “When motivation is hard to find, I just think of how the team will benefit from me challenging myself. When I'm on the field, I trust that the training I've done will give me an edge. I think it's important to fully believe in your own ability and remember that you wouldn't be playing the game if you didn't have the ability to perform.”
Even when you’re not involved in any team sports, you can still surround yourself with other athletes who will push you and keep you accountable — just make sure you’re surrounding yourself with athletes who won’t hold you back.
According to Kelly Hetherington, Australian Middle distance runner, who commented in a Vice Sports article as well, “I think the key to staying motivated…is to surround yourself with a group of like-minded people. I'm lucky to have a committed and hardworking training squad, we help each other stay positive and motivated on days where it may be lacking. Goal setting is also a big factor in staying motivated.”
Discover your own inner voice
The Institute of Sport research has shown that the way you think about your performance can have a big impact on your overall performance.
Some athletes need a calm inner voice to compete, while others require an aggressive inner voice. For some, aggression is necessary for an athlete to overcome hurdles, set a good pace or take their performance to the next level. For others, who might get a little nervous when faced with a competition or match, a calm inner voice is required to allow the body to overcome any stress or tension, and perform to its best ability.
Think about your inner voice when you compete and how you can adjust your mindset to fuel that competitive fire the best you can.
Take challenges head on
When you avoid challenges, or the hardest parts of your workout, for example, you’re more likely to continue avoiding challenges or not give those challenges your best efforts. But when you take them head on, first thing, no other option, you start to develop the mental toughness needed to keep your competitive fire roaring regardless of what faces you. Take those challenges with a smile.
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