Before last year I would not have been able to write this. Or if so, it wouldn't have been honest. I had never won a Championship in any sport my previous 32 years in athletics. I see things different now. I can finally look back and understand what was happening within our team that led us to win.
So YOU want to be Champion? For that you'll need a few things. Belief, attitude, discipline, dedication, determination and passion, just for starters. Are you prepared to fight harder, faster and longer than your opponents? Keep yourself mentally and physically tough? Put in 110% every single day? Take your mind and body beyond any threshold you ever thought possible? Sacrifice life and limb for your teammates?
The most winning college Coach of all time, John Wooden had a Pyramid of Success in which some of the principles he included were: Poise, Loyalty, Intentness, Confidence and Skill.
However, not all traits of a Champion are roses and unicorns. To take your game to the next level you'll need a few other things. Arrogance; You have you believe no one else can do it but you. Fear; fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of getting out of your comfort zone. Selfishness; last play of the game, no time on the clock, YOU have to be the one who wants the ball!
How bad do you want to win? Would you like to? Maybe one day, or that would be nice, kind of thing? Then just forget it right now. You have to feel it deep in your gut. That fuel inside you that wants to explode. The will to win, at any cost. That killer instinct to just fuck someone up when you have him up on the ropes. Michael Jordan was quoted as saying "I'm not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what if feels like to sweat." Jordan was a winner. A 6 time NBA Champion and one of the most competitive players of all time.
That being said, don't forget to have fun. When we were young and first starting out we did it for the love of the game, and was so much fun. No matter what level of achievement you attain, how hard you work or how many hours you put in, don't forget to smile and truly enjoy what you're doing.
Before every game Coach gave us the opportunity to have a quiet moment for last minute thoughts and dedications. In those final moments was the time for internal affirmations and visualizations. It's no different in life, you must see it, FEEL IT, and believe it FIRST, and only then will it manifest. When breaking a huddle every team will say a statement to end on. Ours was simple, and made us who we are. "On 3. 1, 2, 3, CHAMPIONS!"
Feelings can actually change the physiology of your brain. According to The Talent Code, in the case of an athlete, certain thoughts can make your body relax, your mind more creative and actually decrease reaction time. Thoughts create feelings. Feelings preclude actions. The basis of all action is emotion.
Stay with me here….
Paraphrasing The Habit Code web site, Within Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill talks about Definiteness of Purpose. The big secret is that you must get emotionally attached to it.
This is where I think most people fall down.
You MUST get emotional about your goal.
Now, I’m not talking about getting a bit excited. I’m not talking about urging, or wishing, shouting, screaming or even jumping up and down emotional. I mean you have to get emotional “as if someone had tied a concrete ball around your neck and thrown you into the Boston Harbor” emotional.
On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being drowning) The closer you are to a 10 the better. It depends on your DESIRE. How much you want something. A 1 is when your just wishing for something, because it might be nice to have. A 10 is when your life depends on it.
The reason you need to get emotional is this - ONLY Emotionalized thoughts have any ACTION influence upon the subconscious mind. The more Emotion you can mix with a thought, the more your subconscious will take action on that thought.
This can be achieved SLOWLY using the principle of AUTOSUGGESTION. Or it can happen quickly such as when having a breakdown, crisis, accident or even when being super emotionally charged.
Ever seen an NFL team walk the field with a "ho hum", passive attitude? Yeah right! It's not JUST testosterone getting these guys all riled up. They know the power of emotion.
Positive self talk, self analysis and lifelong self improvement are other qualities Hill relates to a winning attitude.
Lastly, it's said that Opportunity is one of the determining factors of who becomes a Champion. Having access to coaches, facilities and training play a major role in development. Clearly that applies in business as much as sport. We have in our hands an opportunity few before us have ever had. It's time to step up to the plate, seize this opportunity and create our destiny.
I'm going to wrap up today with Al Pachino's Inch By Inch speech from the movie Any Given Sunday.
For anyone who hasn't seen the movie, Al Pachino is the coach of an NFL team and this is in the locker room before a big game.
I don't know what to say really.
Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today.
Either we heal as a team, or we are going to crumble.
Inch by inch, play by play, till we're finished.
We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me
we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us,
or we can fight our way back into the light.
We CAN climb out of hell.
One inch at a time.
Now I can't do it for you.
I'm too old.
I look around and I see these young faces
and I think I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make.
I pissed away all my money believe it or not.
I chased off anyone who has ever loved me.
And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror.
You know when you get old in life, things get taken from you.
That's part of life.
But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff.
You find out that life is just a game of inches.
So is football.
Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small.
I mean one half step too late or to early, you don't quite make it.
One half second too slow or too fast, and you don't quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us.
They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.
On this team, we fight for that inch
On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.
We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know when we add up all those inches
that's going to make the fucking difference
between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING.
I'll tell you this
in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die, who is going to win that inch.
And I know if I am going to have any life anymore
it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch
because that is what LIVING is.
The six inches in front of your face.
Now I can't make you do it.
You gotta look at the guy next to you.
Look into his eyes.
Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you.
You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team
because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.
That's a team, gentlemen
and either we heal now, as a team,
or we will die as individuals.
That's football guys.
That's all it is.
Now, whattaya gonna do?