- Champions are highly motivated and committed. Champions set goals and then dedicate themselves to accomplishing those goals. Often you will hear champions say things like “I wasn’t the most gifted, but I was willing to work the hardest.” Great champions are motivated by an internal desire to succeed and to accomplish their goals not by external rewards such as money. Not only do champions set goals, but they can also create a plan on how to accomplish those goals and then follow through with their plan.
- Champions are positive thinkers. Whenever faced with a difficult task, a champion stays focused and optimistic. Champions will find the positive no matter how bleak the situation looks. This allows the athlete to perform better and to rebound faster from a failure. For example, while inventing the light bulb, it took Thomas Edison 10,000 tries to find a filament that would burn correctly. When asked how it felt to fail this many times, Edison replied “I didn’t fail, I learned 9,999 ways that wouldn’t work.”
- Champions learn from failure. If you ever attempt anything difficult, you will at some point experience failure. Champions, however, remain positive and learn from their failures. They do not let their failures determine their fate. A champion will learn everything they can from a failure and then completely move on and begin anew. Michael Jordan once said
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
- Champions visualize success. Champions have the ability to “dial in” and focus on the task at hand. Champions will visualize their success before they even step out on the court. If you watch sports, you may have seen an athlete walk onto the court and you knew before they even took the shot that they were going to miss. When an athlete visualizes success their confidence rises and you can read it from their body language. Often champions will visualize their success in games, meets, and practices hundreds and even thousands of times.
- Champions love what they do. Many people would find it tedious to take several hundred thousand shots or throw millions of kicks, but to an athlete this is what they genuinely love to do. They do not consider it work; they call it fun.
If you want to succeed at any sport or challenge, you should look at what the most successful people do. Ask yourself: what qualities separate the winners from the losers? I present five traits that all champions possess. If you work to develop these qualities, you too can improve yourself and become a champion.