At some stage in your life you will or already have someone you look up to in sport. For example sporting legends like Schalk Burger, Richie McCaw, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, etc. It was maybe right there that you wanted to be like them and achieve what they achieved.
From this a dream is formed. A new journey in life… reachable? Or not? That is the question we all want to know, but only you can answer that question for yourself.
Start by thinking how serious you are about making it in sport. Ask yourself why do you want to become a professional sportsman or woman? Is it the fame, the fortune or is it your love and passion and pure competitiveness. This ‘why’ will drive you as an athlete to never give up and reach your goal.
Many people think the path way to success is easy, but they are fooling themselves. Everything comes at a price. This is the same in sport. That 'price to pay' is sacrifice. Sacrifice is when you give something up in order for you to give full attention, effort and time to become better in your chosen specialization.
Here are a few things professional sportsman and woman have to sacrifice and do each day:
· Disciplined nutrition.
· Saying no to social events during important time of your season.
· No drinking, smoking or drugs.
· Physio and doctors’ bills.
Performance =Sacrifice = Time = Mastery
What this means is, it takes endless hours to perfect that one step, jump or tackle. Remember your sporting heros also had to give up things in their lives to achieve their goals. They trained long hours to get what they wanted and to be where they are today. In life you have competition. Your competition wants to achieve the same thing that you want to. How are you going to be better than them? Put in the extra hours. For this you have to sacrifice somethings in order for you to become better than your opponent.
You might wonder, is this worth sacrificing so much? How do you do that?
There are two important points that I would like you to take from this article. Love what you do because if you always enjoy and love your sport, sacrifice is just a mere mindset. Stay true to the qualities that set you apart from others. Remember there is only one Usain Bolt, but there is also only one you.
So I ask the question what makes you unique? Changing to become a better athlete and changing to impress others (coaches, parents or friends) is a huge difference. Change to become a better athlete, by keeping what makes you special.
I made two mistakes on my journey as a professional sportsman. I was so focused on what the coaches wanted me to be or my parents wanted me to be that I changed who I was. I lost that special thing that set me apart. This leads to unnecessary pressure and stop enjoying the game.
Never change what makes you unique. Find your ‘why’ and this will become your driving force. Remember anyone can become the best that they can be, but only you can make that possible. Only you can pay the ultimate price and that price is sacrifice.