Every cent earned in your hard work piggy bank is a direct investment towards your future progress as an athlete. I believe that there are three key steps you need to focus on in order to recognize, cherish, and capture all of the 1 cent opportunities that you have before you. We will explore the 2nd Step today.
Step 2: Remain Hungry
The most successful athletes adopt the ability to remain hungry in their hard work so that they can continue to push harder, move faster, and find more opportunities to ensure that their tomorrow is always better than their yesterday. The moment you become satisfied in your training or work ethic is also the same moment you miss pivotal chances to become even better. Or worse, it is also the same moment where your competitors or opponents in other clubs can take an edge on you.
I would like to share a story my USA Coach, Craig Parnham, shared with my team while we were preparing for the Rio Olympic Games.
There was a press conference with a panel of Olympic Runners just before the 2012 London Olympic Games and for the sake of the Runners I will refer to them as Runner 1 and Runner 2.
The Reporter asked the panel of athletes: How confident are you feeling going into this Olympic Games? What is the Key to your success?
Runner 1 immediately chimed in and said – I am very confident going into this Olympic Games. The Key to my success in this sport?… I take no days off. There is always something you can improve on – more sprints, more rehab, more nutrition, more lifting. I haven’t taken a day off since the last Olympics.
The Reporter with a shocked expression said: You are meaning to say that you haven’t taken a break in 4 years?
Runner 1 Said: Even my rest is calculated and productive. I am always hydrating, always stretching, always learning more about my sport on the internet or in books. I have no vacation from the sport because I am working to win the Gold. I love this sport, and I want to win.
The Reporter continued with huge skepticism and asked: What about Christmas?… Come on, You don’t even take one day off?
Runner 1: Never! Training on Christmas… that is my advantage. When my opponents are sleeping in on Christmas day, I wake up early for a run. This is the key to my success. I gain an edge on my competitors when I check 1 more training session off and they nestle in for a day off on the Holidays.
The reporter shrugged and looked at Runner 1: Wow that is dedication!
(Then, the reporter notices another runner smiling at the end of the table.)
The Reporter said to Runner 2: Do you find something funny? You have been quiet for this entire interview. Tell us, what is the key to your success in this Olympic Games?
(Runner 2 looks over at Runner 1 and back at the Reporter)
Runner 2 smirks and says: I train twice on Christmas Day… (He dropped the microphone and walked out of the interview)
The reality is, unless you are competing for The Olympics, two-times a day training on Christmas may not be necessary this year. However, the message from this story can connect with all of us. There is no time to find comfort in your hard work. Yes, be proud of it, use your success to spur you on, but never rest in it. Remain hungry in your work ethic and pursuit towards success. There is always an opportunity to get in the game, make your individual game better, and earn your 1 cent.