The Mind of A Winning Athlete

Being a high-performing athlete is required to compete at the highest level of sport but being a winner takes that bit extra

Or at least it should be.

I mean if they’re high-performing in the first place what else is there?

So long as you’re in the mix and up with the pack at the top of your sport you just need to make sure you’re the winner more often than not.

But then there are the athletes that are training as if they are high performers and have not won anything yet.

Because there are many of those.

In the recent past many teams, organizations, clubs, and countries have invested in high-performance units, gyms, arenas, professionals, and programs. They include their top athletes in that area because they have the biggest chance to become the winners in their competition.

But that doesn’t mean they are the champions of their sport or even their division.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Because many can compete but the only one can take the winner’s prize.

High-performance units are decked out with cutting-edge technology, top-class facilities such as running tracks, gyms, apps, tracking devices, testing equipment, nutritionists, fitness professionals, and many other people and aids to help an athlete win. Yet when one person is considered a high-performance athlete their competition is considered this too. That means that their competition also receives this high level of equipment and professional expertise when they are training at this advanced level.

And if several athletes or teams are training at a high level and doing all the correct and modern things that athletes should do then no competitor is more advanced or closer to winning than another.

Gone are the days of late nights, bad diets, and only turning up to compete.

Athletics and sports are big businesses that take in trillions of dollars.

Athletes and competitors are the pawns that draw this spending and they need to be at the top of their game to give a great performance. Extreme fitness is a must. The crowd demand to see chiseled athletes that appear to be at the top of their game.

Yet still, there is the only winner in every competition.

Despite all the modern advancements in training the environment of competition is the same.

Because top-level sports demand that the competition is fierce and it doesn’t commiserate with those that finish in second place.

Those that win are known as winners and those that lose are the losers. These are the cold hard facts of it all.

Photo by Liam Nguyen on Unsplash

So if all the top-tier competitors are doing advanced training and practice that is scientifically scrutinized to be better than previous generations of athletes and players why do the winners win and the losers stay as mere high-performance competitors?

The answer is in the mind of the athlete.

Because despite the physicality of sports and all the top class professionals that work in the industry at the end of the day none of them can hold an athlete’s or player’s hand while they are competing to win that final contest. And even if they could each of the professionals come from a different point of view.

The fitness professionals believe that if you maximize the fitness of the athlete you’ll make sure they have the greatest chance of winning. The nutritionist believes that what they eat will make them more powerful than those they are up against. And the coach thinks that their tactics will outfox the opposition.

The list goes on and on.

But all of these areas can be capitalized on by the opposition.

Their opposition can become fitter than them. They can eat better food and in so doing prepare their body better for a physical contest. And they can out plan for a potential attack or defense in the contest to get ahead of them.

But it’s that period when they have to step up and perform to not only their highest ability but above the requirement of the competition that will set them apart from those in their field.

That’s when winners become champions.

Some say that there is a genetic difference between champions and those they compete against as the old saying of:

“champions are born not made”

comes to mind.

And there is a certain truth in that.

After all, not everyone is athletically built to play sports at the highest level. Basketball players are rarely less than 6 feet tall. And sprinters are not born slow.

But it’s the mind of the athlete that dictates whether they are to be the winner or not.

Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

And that comes deep inside the competitor. Yet they can change their mind and how it adapts to the competition that it faces during high performance.

The problem for most high performers though is that they don’t believe they can change or they won’t put in the work that gets them to that time of becoming a champion.

So for most, they’ll perform at a high level.

But they’ll never become the champion that they can be.

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Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

Forbes, INC. & Entrepreneur Magazines, CBS, & NBC Featured, Dr. Conor Is The World’s Leading High-Performance Neuro Socio-Psychologist & Co-Authored 4 Books