Self Defense: Hard Work Wins!

I’ve always been a huge sports fan. Growing up I loved watching football, basketball and baseball. As I got older I started to appreciate numerous sports. I started watching, horse racing, car racing, hockey, tennis, and any other event that involved some high level of competition. 

I have always appreciated watching the very best in the world perform, witnessing an athlete rise to the occasion, watching them live up to expectations, seeing a person come through in the clutch, or witnessing someone doing something heroic. 

One thing I have never appreciated is when people try to tear those athletes down. I have seen this numerous times on social media. Everyone is a critic and everyone has something to say. They put people down for bad performances, they attack them, and what’s more they still feel the need to put them down when they are successful. 

A lot of people have no idea what goes into being a professional athlete. There are a lot of people out there who think professional athletes get to their elite level because they were born with some gift that they weren’t born with. They automatically assume they have a genetic advantage or they were lucky. Maybe they had a better coach in high school or they got some special opportunity that others didn’t get. 

What ever happened to just chalking someone’s success up to old fashioned hard work? 

Take the Olympics for example. I have read a lot of stuff about how Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have some special advantage over other athletes. Do you think Michael Phelps has won so many gold medals over his career (23 I believe) because he was born to swim? Is it because he has fins and gills? Maybe it’s because his arms are longer than normal people’s or he has some other genetic advantage. Maybe Usain is just faster because he has longer legs? Maybe he won because he got the inside lane? 

Rather than just talking about how ‘lucky’ they are maybe we should talk about the hard work they’ve put in. Effort is the key to success in any walk of life and it’s no different in athletics. Most people don’t realize the work these people put in. Michael Phelps swam 1300 hours a year for over 10 straight years. To put that in perspective he spends approximately 4 hours in a pool every single day. 

When you have the opportunity to work with high level athletes you start to appreciate what kind of work they put in. I have had the pleasure of working with several different types of high level athletes over the years. I was immediately impressed by their work ethic. They are the first ones to show up to training and the last ones to leave, they never makes excuses, and always gives it their all. What I admired most is their unwavering dedication to their craft. What most people refer to as a consummate professional! They do a lot more than just show up to train and work hard. They do all the little things that many people don’t see. Eat right, engage in recovery practices, make sure they drink enough water, doesn’t party heavily, asks questions, and always wants to learn. 

Just the other day I gave one of our guys a hard time for missing the 9am workout due to family obligations. His response was he had already trained twice that day, 4am and 6am. 

When you are around High Level athletes you being to understand what it takes to play a professional sport and be successful for years. It is much more than being talented or lucky. It is doing everything possible to be successful. 

We can all learn from this. The path to success is the path of hard work. If you want to be good at something take a cue from the professionals and do it every single day. Dedicate yourself completely to the task at hand. If you want to be stronger work for it. If you want to be more fit then put in more hours. Don’t stop there either. Eat better, recover better, sleep more. Simply put: do more. 

No one is successful because of luck or genetics. Hard work alwa

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