If you’re a student athlete and feel you are on the brink of a breakout year, you might be right. But in order to accurately assess (and better predict) your likelihood for fulfilling your sports dreams, it is important to self-gauge how you stack up when examining variables most closely linked to sport success. Simply saying you are going to reach your full potential is one thing, but being actually prepared to do it is often an entirely different conversation altogether.
1. You see opportunity, and believe it’s yours. Often the first step in greatness is simply believing you can be great, and this belief develops from your own firsthand observations. Why do you think it’s your time right now? Are you the hardest worker? Do you have the best skill set? Have you worked out any previous shortcomings in your game to give you the confidence you are ready to make the next big step? Remember, behind every great athlete is a conviction that he or she truly believes that there is nobody on the field or court that can beat them, and that all their previous hard work and efforts have allowed them to dominate the competition.
2. You’re not afraid of the work. Being the best relies heavily on putting in the work, as there are no shortcuts to greatness. Are you the first one to practice, and the last one to leave? Do you regularly put in extra work, whether its getting in another run, hitting the gym for an extra workout, or spending extra time mastering your sport skill set? Very rarely can great athletes skip putting in the work, as so much of sport excellence relies on self-confidence, and confidence is a direct product of knowing you have done everything possible to be the best player you can be.
3. You’re open to constructive feedback. Too many times our own ego is what prevents us from receiving feedback and invaluable insights provided by coaches and mentors. Great athletes (like great people in all walks of life) not only are open to constructive feedback, they actively solicit advice from others. It is very difficult for us to see our own weaknesses and deficiencies, making coach feedback a very big part of reaching your full potential — are you ready to tune in to the experts around you right now?
Many athletes talk about being great, bot not nearly as many are truly prepared and willing to do the things necessary for achieving greatness. While there isn’t one formula or algorithm to use when pursuing greatness, we do know many of the variables closely linked to peak performers, including belief, putting in the work, and accepting feedback from others. Remember, knowledge is potential power — it becomes powerful only when we actually use the knowledge we learn.