A recent article by Bill Murphy, Jr. for Inc. Magazine referenced a quote from 2000 by Jeff Bezos of Amazon. “The truth is: We are, and aspire to be, the Amazon.com of the Internet…” Bezos was responding to the writer David Sheff’s (Playboy Magazine) question asking whether or not Amazon hoped to become the “Wall-Mart of the internet”.
As I continue to write about my research and the path one must follow in order to become the very best in the world of sport, in particular ski racing, it is important to also take a step back and look at our own lives. Since most of us will never be standing at the top of a race course hoping to win the World Cup slalom title or standing on the base line trying to win the US Open Tennis Championship, how do we make the champions approach to sport work in our lives?
The 2020/2021 World Cup Ski season is now over and preparation for the next season has already started. Some athletes will go home and rest and catch up with family and friends, while others will stay on snow to test new skis for the upcoming season. Whatever an athlete decides to do, it is part of the overall plan to get ready for the opening races in October.
When an athlete rises to the top of his or her game and then dominates or seems to be on the path to consistently finishing in the top spot, how should the rest of the field respond? In his interview after failing to make the cut in the recent Players Championship, Rory McIlroy brings this problem to light.
As I have observed critical commentary of high-level athletes over the years there seems to be, whether intended or not the implication that champion athletes who put together winning performances over and over again are not human and live without emotions. Based on my personal experience and research that implication is 100% wrong.
In the current issue of Sports Illustrated(Greg Bishop, March 3, 2021) Ski Racer Mikaela Shiffrin was interviewed. It is an article worth reading for anyone interested in ski racing and her career, but more importantly for anyone interested in how the very best thrive at the top.
The willingness to do whatever it takes to become the very best and to stand on top of the podium, not just once, but over and over again and season after season is not possible for every competitor. In fact, it is one of the reasons why we see individuals with immense talent never quite reach the very top or if they do it is only for a very brief moment.
In my previous post I talked, in general about the massive effort that goes into the making of a champion athlete. In this post I will start to break down the process of what is behind the massive effort to get to the very top in the sport of ski racing or for that matter to reach the top in any sport or any endeavor.
The effort given by the greatest champions in sport to become the very best – to win - is massive. In fact, the effort is so demanding that it and not athleticism or physical prowess is ultimately the separating factor for those who always seem to end up on top. For the very best, supreme athletic talent is a given, but talent only opens the door and the possibility for greatness.
"I can't wrap my head around it. It's a number, right? I don't even know what the number is. But it's a number," said Shiffrin, who took bronze in Thursday's opening event, the super-G. "So, in that way, sure, I can say, 'That's cool.' But today I was focused on today and in the super-G, I was focused on the super-G," Mikaela Shiffirn in a CBS News Interview.