Came across this on the USA Triathlon website. Very inspiring.
“Okay, you’ve been training for months and you are feeling pretty fit, now what? It’s time to test your skills on the racecourse. But you still may have some concerns about how you will do in a race. How do I set up my transition area, how do I navigate a swim course in open water (and avoid the flailing arms and legs of your competitors), how much fluids should I ingest on the course? Race day can be an exciting and stressful time for both the beginner and the experienced athletes. In this section USA Triathlon’s Certified Coaches offer their advice and expertise to help guide you through your event.
Think About this During Your Next Race!
Every sport has its champions and winners. I have been involved with the sport of triathlon and triathlons are a great sport. It’s a lot of fun to swim, bike, and run, but it also can be a sport we can learn valuable lessons from that can help us later in life.
I want to share with you two lessons that I feel are important to any athlete: "Act like a champion to be a champion" and “The champion isn’t always the individual that’s first!”
One kind of champion is the athlete that crosses the finish line first or has scored the most points at the end of the game. And we want to be that kind of champion, training to win and winning involves a tremendous amount of work and commitment. There is another kind of champion, a champion of life, and I feel that in the big picture of our lives this champion is the real winner. It’s great to win a race or game but being a champion of life is the ultimate reward for sports.
To be a champion we need to start acting like a champion. And a champion is someone who is working for mastery of their sport and themselves. And learning how to achieve mastery over ourselves is the difficult part. To be a champion athlete you don’t need to beat all your opponents! A true champion realizes that this type of winner’s fame will expire because sooner or later someone will beat them. A champion of life is concerned with being the best athlete that they can be under the circumstance, acting like a champion at all times, being mentally strong, and helping others to achieve success. This athlete realizes that awards and ribbons reflect one small moment in time and mean little in defining a true champion!
Being a champion involves four qualities:
- Life and sports aren’t about finding yourself they’re about creating yourself and realizing success is defined as mastering yourself first.
- Never ever quit learning and helping others. You learn when you teach and happiness is created by helping others achieve success. You must be a student of life and sport.
- Mental toughness is not defined as the toughest, meanest, loudest person in the arena of sport. Mental toughness is being able to summon your emotional strength at the right time and using it with grace and dignity – win or lose. Knowing that we will be defined not by the fight by how we fought. What we overcame to get to the starting line and cross the finish line.
Champions don’t talk – they act.
- If you remember these three things and act on them as I stated in the fourth. You will be acting like a champion, and you will be a champion in life as well as a champion athlete.
Now, go have a great workout and get in the game of life. Think and act like the champion you are.”
by Alan Ley, former USAT Coaching Education Manager