Pillar #1 Elite Mindset

The Top 10 Things World Champions Know That You Don’t

by Brian Cain, MPM

1. Acting Changes Everything (ACE)
The ACE card that they have up their sleeve is a key weapon in the world champion’s toolbox. What does ACE stand for? ACE stands for Acting Changes Everything. Those athletes understand that they’re not athletes, they’re actors. See number two.

2. Force Yourself To Act Different Than How You Feel
It is a lot easier to act yourself into feeling than it is to wait around and feel yourself into action. So if you are not confident, that is OK, just act confident, if you are scared, that is OK, just act as if you are not scared. The Karelian Bear Dog chases the grizzly bear not because he’s bigger or stronger, but because he believes he’s bigger and stronger.  In the great book Run To Roar about Trinity College Squash, the most successful NCAA program of all time, Coach Paul Assaiante talks about how the lions eat the gazelle in Africa because the gazelle have not learned this key principle.

3. Losing Is Not An Option
World Champions know that losing is not an option, it’s essential. In order for you to become a World, National or State Champion, you’re going to lose. You’re going to lose because you’re competing against the best of the best. And when you get higher and higher in levels of competition, talent and physical skill means less and less because everyone has got it. It’s inevitable that we’ll eventually lose so know how you should respond when it happens. Learn from it and “Flush It”. Failure is positive feedback.

4. Confidence Is A Choice
Being a champion is also about learning how to respond when you are faced with adversity and how to respond when you don’t feel good. Do you respond with confidence? Remember confidence is a choice. Champions don’t wake up one day and say, “Mmm, well the sun and the moon and the stars are all lined up today, so I will be confident”. It doesn’t work that way with champions. Champions make the choice everyday to jump out of bed and be confident. They know their ‘ABCs’ are to ‘Always Behave Confidently’ because confidence is a choice.

5. What Will Other People Say? What Will Other People Think?
There are ten deadly words that if you say them or believe them you will crush your performance before you even start. If you’re trying to pursue excellence, if you’re trying to get to the top of your field, if you listen to these ten deadly words, you are going to sabotage your career. Those ten deadly words are, “What will other people say? What will other people think?” It doesn’t matter what other people say. It doesn’t matter what other people think. In your pursuit of excellence, people are going to try and pull you down and talk trash about you because you are more successful then they are.  It is lonely at the top, but high expectations beat low reality any day. When people stab you in the back or say things about you behind your back it is because you are in front of them. Be more concerned with your character, what you know is true than what other people say or think about you.

6. Champions Are Made, They’re Not Born
Very few people are truly committed to the pursuit of excellence. Get used to looking yourself in the mirror, and answering to yourself. Because every night, when that head hits the pillow, that’s the person you’re going to answer to. Other people are going to tell you, you can’t do it. That you’re not big enough, fast enough, smart or strong enough. Or even worse, you may be surrounded by a bunch of yes people who tell you that you’re the best when you are really quite average. Be careful who you listen to. Champions know it doesn’t matter what people think because champions are made – they’re developed – they’re not born, and ANYONE can be a champion if they are committed to excellence and follow the fundamentals.

7. Motivation Is A Daily Decision
To stay motivated, you’ve got to surround yourself with things that motivate you. Do you have a vision board posted in your office, room, car or locker that shows you what you want to accomplish and increases your chances of accomplishing those things by over 30%? Consider this advertising to yourself. Coke and Pepsi are the two most famous soft drinks and that is largely due to the fact that they saturate the market and your head with advertising. You want to advertise to yourself on a daily basis with vision boards, quotes or goals written on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker and by reading a little a lot from good books.  Advertising works. That is why companies spend over $3,000,000.00 for a :30 advertisement during the Super Bowl.

8. Your Time Is Now
Your time is the present moment. 1980 Olympic gold medal winning Team USA Hockey Coach Herb Brooks said it best in the great movie; ‘Miracle’ when he said “Your time is now.” The time is now, the place is here. Your career is the sum of your today’s. The only factor that is the same amongst all coaches and athletes reading this post around the world is that they have 86,000 seconds in a day to either spend or INVEST in the development of their potential. Maximize your time management and priority management skills and you will get the most our of your days.

9. Stop Counting Down The Days And Start Making Those Days Count
World champions also know that you don’t count the days till the next competition, you make the days count. They set long term goals of where they want to be at the end of the season, but commit 100% to the days goal, to the here and now. They realize that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift that’s why we call it the present. They live for today and get the most out of today because they know their career and life will be the sum of their today’s.

10. What’s Important Now
Right now today. What are you going to do today to get better? What is your goal for today? Do you see a pattern developing here? Through out each day there are going to be distractions, fish hooks that rip you out of the water while you are searching for your goals. When you get side tracked, get off the wrong exit on your way to work, realize that you must get back on the path, get back in the moment. Winning is an end result that takes care of itself if you win the moment or as University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly says “Win The Day”.  You win the day by remembering (W.I.N.)What’s Important Now!

The BONUS eleventh thing that World Champions know that you don’t is the Opponent Is You. Your toughest opponent in life will be to master yourself. And once you become a master of the mental game, you give yourself the best chance to become a champion in your sport.