Skating Fridays

Finish First

Have you read Scott Hamilton’s book, Finish First? If not, I highly recommend it. The techniques and examples are good for anything you’re working on improving, whether it’s skating or something else.

Scott had a great story to tell. He was adopted and had a childhood condition which stunted his growth. He believed that he was destined to come in last in everything that he did. His health problems prevented him from participating in many activities, and when he realized that figure skating actually improved his physical health, he still came in last in competitions.

Rather than dwell on his physical shortcomings and failure, Scott changed his mentality. He wasn’t content on finishing near the bottom. Not only did he train harder or more efficiently than his peers, but he also changed his mindset. He started thinking like a champion and training like a champion.

We all want to do well. But when we are preparing ourselves for a test, a competition or something else, are we only preparing ourselves to show up… mediocre? Do we think to ourselves, “I just don’t want to come in last.” Or “I don’t want to fall.” Or are you telling yourself, “I’m going to out-perform everyone and show them what I’m capable of. I’m a champion.”

On the same lines of what I shared last week, any negative thinking is going to impede your progress on the way to becoming a champion. Champions don’t tell themselves they’re not good enough. They engage in positive affirmations and go one extra step above and beyond what everyone else is doing. They don’t prepare to be mediocre; rather, they have a solid plan in order to achieve the extraordinary.

So if you want to become a champion, in whatever it is that fuels your passion, you need to first think like a champion. Then outline what you need to do in order to be a champion. And then go do it. Don’t be tempted to stop or give up when things get hard because it’s not going to be easy. Mediocre people quit or stop, while champions find the strength to keep moving on.

One powerful quotation that I think sums it up for me is, “Everyone has the will to win, but champions have the will to prepare to win.”


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