Regardless of what sport you compete in, there will come a day when you meet an obstacle that overwhelms you. What you may not realize, is that your reaction to a roadblock is what defines you as an athlete. While it may be discouraging if you’re in the midst of athletic growing pains, you’re not alone. In fact, even Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian of all time, has suffered setbacks and has had to learn to overcome adversity. Take his advice and watch yourself grow as an athlete!
1) The amount of success you achieve goes hand in hand with the amount of effort put in: Missing a day of training might not seem like a big deal, but a day of training could be the difference between a 1st and 2nd place finish. Michael Phelps didn’t take a day off of training for nearly five years. Yes, he even trained on Christmas! His amount of effort and dedication is what led him to be the most decorated Olympian in history. He climbed the ladder to success step by step, and he reached the top.
2) Set a goal that’s bigger than yourself: Many athletes don’t realize that they box themselves in with goals that are one-sided or too small. It’s important to consistently set goals that are big enough to challenge you to grow as an athlete. Phelps’ largest goal as an athlete was to encourage people to try the sport he loved so much. While winning gold never hurts, what the Olympian wanted most was to share his sport with the world. By increasing participation in his sport, his passion and dedication for swimming grew even stronger.
3) Failure should never hinder you: Failure happens, even at the Olympic level. The top equestrians in the world fall off their horses, an event that someone was slated to win doesn’t go as planned, and unexpected situations arise. During the 2012 Olympics, Phelps lost races that he had dominated in for over a decade. Instead of being defeated, he realized that he needed to reevaluate what he needed to do to make sure that the loss he experienced never happened again.
4) Have a supportive team of people that stand behind you: Do you think that the most decorated Olympian of all time gets their alone? Phelps always had people in his corner, including his mother who ensured that he made it to all of his swim meets as a kid. While no one can put in the training time besides you, having individuals that you can turn to is crucial.
5) At the end of the day, remember to remain confident in yourself: Whatever you do, don’t lose confidence in yourself. It’s okay to have a bad day, but maintain your composure and be up extra early the next day to train. Understand that there are highs and lows, but make sure that your confidence remains the same through every season.
Do you want more athlete inspiration? Read about life changing lessons learned in the show ring below!