Those who have been successful have not always had an easy path, but they do have a few key habits in common. Establishing goals, learning from mistakes and training hard are just a few of the abilities that extraordinary athletes share. Regardless of specific sport or activity, there are a few repeatable actions that set some apart from the rest.
Humans are creatures of habit and that might not be such a bad thing when you consider this list of 10 habits successful athletes share.
This isn’t the first time you’ve heard about the importance of goals to success and it certainly won’t be the last. Goals without action are just dreams and action taken without goals is, at best, haphazard. Setting personal short and long-term goals gives an athlete a clear path, a way to measure success and, most importantly, motivation. All successful athletes have decided on their own goals and then started taking steps to meet those goals.
Whether it’s right before a competition or just before a training session, many of the best athletes out there have taken time to picture themselves winning or crushing their workout. Physical performance is largely mental, yet some people overlook the mind almost entirely. Great athletes often say they picture themselves succeeding beforehand—the process helps them clear the mind, relax the body and sets them up to win.
We all make mistakes, it happens, even to elite athletes. The key to their success is not avoiding mistakes altogether, but dealing with them the right way. When the best athletes make mistakes, they don’t dwell on them, which would inevitably cloud their mind; they learn from them and then let it go. Learning lessons, letting the bad memories go and focusing on past and future success is the key to moving forward and growing as an athlete.
Simply put, dedicated athletes align everything else in life with their athletic goals. They know that what they put in their body will directly affect their performance and so they eat healthy, whole foods. They tailor their diet to their training schedule and even when they’re not at the height of training, they are mindful of what they put in their bodies.
Professional athletes have coaches, trainers, nutritionists, the list goes on. While you may not have access to a team of professionals dedicated to helping you meet your fitness goals, there is one thing about that you can emulate—a structured program. The most successful athletes didn’t start out working with a whole team from day one; they made their own training program and stuck to it. Elite athletes did the research, gathered the resources and laid out their own plan for success.
The best athletes out there don’t rely on their talent alone, they rely on their training. Successful athletes don’t just go to the gym and go through the motions; they put the whole of their effort into training each time and leave knowing they gave it their all. At the end of the day, it boils down to competing against yourself and elite athletes are always pushing to be better.
It’s hard to say where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been, keeping training records is key to future success. Writing about your sessions (and diet, sleep, ect.) will help you spot patters, address weak points and realize even small improvements. Top athletes have some sort of record to look back on, even if it’s not a paper journal.
Skilled athletes thrive when presented with challenges, not mediocrity. Surrounding yourself with those better than you and rising to compete at their level will make you a drastically better athlete. Coaches, teammates and training partners that challenge you are invaluable and the best athletes have discovered that.
Being the best isn’t about winning one time, but consistently proving yourself and the best way to do that is through hard work. Perhaps the best lesson elite athletes embrace is that every day is a new slate, in which you have another chance to succeed. Top tier athletes train like they are the worst and compete as if they are the best, that combination of hard work and confidence is key.