As I was watching the Jim Nantz wrap up interview with Tom Brady after the Patriots victory over the Chiefs, I was struck by what Tom Brady said to his offensive coordinator before starting overtime.
A great piece of research that suggests that we are more than just a machine driven by our genetic makeup. Our mindsets not only matter but can even impact our physiology.
As World Cup Skier Mikaela Shiffrin continues her record-setting pace and her quotes remain newsworthy it is important for young ski racers and their parents to understand the words that define a champion.
The fitness and athletic experiences that your child has when young set the tone for an active and potentially a sports-oriented future. Our experiences during youth have very powerful influences on how we live as adults. This is especially true in sport and physical activity.
The mindset of a champion is unwavering and Tom Brady provides another perfect example of why he is the greatest quarterback of his generation. In a news conference, prior to the matchup against Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers, Brady was asked the following questions:
As the focus on total body fitness, injury recovery and better movement continue to be the trend in the fitness industry, deep water fitness is becoming more and more popular. This is a great story on the benefits of water exercise.
Whether or not Serena was being coached or not from the stands, she lost and Naomi Osaka won. Serena, one of the greatest champions in the sport was unquestionably beaten by her opponent. The fact that the referee made some controversial calls are part of the sport and Serena let these calls get the best of her emotions and subsequently, she lost.
In his recent article titled; How Tiger Woods has played himself into a corner, ESPN sportswriter Bob Harig brings up a simple, yet powerful question that every athlete or participant in sport needs to ponder and answer. "How do you balance the need to prepare with the need to rest and recuperate?"
We have just one body, why not keep it working and tuned up for a lifetime of movement and activity?
What is your plan for your body? We are all trained to go to school to study and develop our minds and intellect and practical skills so that we can be better and more productive workers, but what about our bodies? Do you have a long-term body development plan?
In a 2017 Denver Post interview, Kirk Dwyer of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, stated that “the key to any sport is having heroes…”. If left alone, this statement has the potential for a debatable message. John Meyer. Denver Post, 3/16/17 http://www.denverpost.com/2017/03/12/ski-club-vail-kids-watch-mikaela-shiffrin-training/
In my research, I found it best to view a superstar as an inspiration instead of a hero. Making a great athlete into a hero immediately puts the young up and coming athlete a step behind. It allows for the mindset that there will always be someone better. Or worse, it creates a desire for the young athlete to copy or want to “be like” their hero.
The best way for a young ski racer to view a superstar like Mikaela Shiffrin is to think: “If she can do it, so can I”. Or “If she can do it, I can do it better”. Let the Shiffrins of the ski racing world show every young budding ski racer what is possible.
Next, while Mikaela has certainly many wonderful qualities to emulate, there is only one Mikaela. People who succeed in life and sport must have their own personality and approach to living and competing. There is that old saying: “A copy is never as good as the original”.
While Mikaela makes skiing look easy, she has put in many years of extraordinary effort to reach the very top. Perhaps the strongest message or messages, for an aspiring ski racer are those which are not so obvious? To start, the very best in sport are extremely dedicated and focused on their goals. Their entire life is organized around doing what it takes to win. They are supremely committed to becoming the very best and will let nothing get in their way.