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What makes a Champion?

If you’re a champion, you have to have it in your heart.

Chris Evert – Tennis Player

Perhaps, this quote sums up the rest of the article even before one can read it.

A few key things which most of us are aware of, and yet, we tend to overlook them.

  1. DOING WHAT IT TAKES.
  2. LETTING GO.
  3. BELIEF IN THEMSELVES and most of all,
  4. GRATITUDE.

Doing what it takes:

There are all kinds of people who play sports. Those who are blessed and those who are lesser fortunate. And yet, the sport does not distinguish. Only people do.

There could be an added advantage to some in assuming that those who are lesser fortunate may have a bigger driver to achieve and make their mark or succeed. Yes, it could be true. And yet, if you don’t do what it takes, you don’t get what you can. No matter who you are or where you come from.

There is something called going beyond your comfort zone, that doing what it takes is all about. It is about pushing yourself beyond the limits. Beyond the training hours. Beyond the comfort of the mat or ring or net. It is about finding your faults and training to correct them over and over and over. It is about knowing your limitations and then pushing beyond them. It is about learning to go beyond your own excuses. No matter what they are. Someone will always seem better and have better advantages than you do. And, yet, it is about doing what it takes to overcome them. Not complain or sulk. Nor cry foul.

It is about knowing where you stand and either be happy with it or change it.

Letting go:

Letting go is the key to mastering yourself and your game. First of all, letting go of everything from your life, including your own self before you step into your practice or game. Once you have emptied out your mind, you can now be present to what you have around you, and absorb it. Your game, coaching or training. It is about giving your self to it completely. Not half a mind training and the other half with the rest of the world.

The other kind of letting go is, letting go of what you know. Each day and each moment is new. Holding on to something cannot allow you to improvise or change. And so, letting go of what you know is the most important to learning. The more you unlearn, the more you can learn.

The most important aspect of letting go is knowing that defeat or loss does not last forever. It could be a single point in a match or a game or an entire tournament.

It is in letting go of defeat and then doing what it takes to win that makes a champion.

Belief in themselves:

What makes a champion is an inherent belief in themselves. Knowing that they have it. Its the game mentality that sets two teams and players apart. The nerves and the mental conditioning apart from their physical strength. Your beliefs make you who you are. Your reality reflects your points of view about life and your game and most importantly of your own self.

The one thing that sets someone apart is the game nerves. Some of the top players beating everyone at their training, buckle under pressure on bigger platforms. And then, we have some who raise their game to the next level when they are put into such situations. So many players get picked in a team not only because they can play good, but because they have what it takes to get the team to the other side. They are the ones who can convert an impending defeat into a win. It is their mental attitude and belief in themselves that sets them apart.

As you think, so you become- Buddha

Gratitude:

Being thankful to everyone who has made one the player that they are, is what will make not only a champion but also a better human being.

Gratitude to everyone from your parents to coaches or people who give you opportunities to play. Being thankful to each one of them every single day of your life might still not be enough. No man is an island to themselves. And acknowledging the contribution of others in their lives keeps one grateful and humble. This is when success does not go into the heads or lead to your downfall eventually.

Gratitude not only for people who are important in our success but also for those who are unseen. Maybe the guy who unlocks the doors before you come to practice or the janitor who ensures cleanliness around. The help around us in so many ways we don’t see. The food, the clothes… the list could be endless.

The other things to be grateful for are the sporting equipment. The ball, the racquet, the net, the field. Champions respect all of this. At last, the most important thing to be thankful and grateful for and towards is the sport itself. One can never be bigger than the sport itself.

Champions know they are a part of the sport, not above it.

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