As a mother, I have been blessed to have had the privilege of seeing my son, Nick, grow from a baby into his first year of adolescence. I was talking to a fellow mother of a teenager recently on the subject of why our sons are so special. Yes we are biased and I make no apology for that but I have reason to believe that my son is truly one of my heroes and a fabulous role model for all champions.
Our conversation centered around the news that Nick had just received a letter saying that he had been selected to represent his country in a sport that he loves. He has been playing soccer and futsal (indoor soccer) since he was four years old and absolutely lives and breathes it. To the point that in Year 1, at age 6 he wrote that when he grows up he would be a Socceroo. He has gone on to represent his school and town at higher and higher levels, until later this year he will travel to Brazil and Chile representing Australia in the Under 14 squad. We began talking about what does it take to become a champion?
The following four ideas kept coming up and I ask that you think how they might apply to your life.
1. What do I want?
You need to have a clear picture of what your goal is. Nick knew that one day he would play soccer for Australia. I still remember the day that he came home from school saying that the reason he had to learn the national anthem was so he could sing it before any big games. Have a reason to get up every day and do all the mundane training in the cold. You have to be able to see the big picture and often it helps to surround yourself with reminders of these goals. Nick has a picture of his heroes that sits in his room, an unconscious reason to live his dreams and make them come true.
2. How will it happen?
You also need a game plan. What skills do you need to learn, or habits need to form? Champions do what they do without thinking about it because they have done it so many times before. They know where they want to be and have a road map to get there. Nick realised that he needed to make representative teams and worked hard long before that he became a member of these teams, so that the selectors would think about overlooking him. He did not always start off as the “best" player in a team, but soon found out what was needed and worked on improving his skills so that often he finished the season with the “most consistent" award. So work out what steps you need to take to get where you want to be and make small consistent improvements on your skills.
3. I will make it happen
You need to take responsibility for making your dreams come true. I think this involves taking ownership of both the good and bad sides. When things have gone off track ask yourself what have I done to make this happen and what do I have to do to change it? Do not blame anyone or anything else. Firstly check your own actions and attitudes before looking outwards because in the long run that is the only thing that you are in complete control of. But also take ownership of all the positive things too. Be proud and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they might seem at the time. This will not only make your journey much more enjoyable, it will also bolster your confidence to take the next step.
4. Who else do I need on my team?
Nick was also the under 10 regional tennis champion but had to choose between tennis and soccer. Soccer won as it was his true passion, but when I asked him why, he replied that he got to play soccer with his mates, he had a team to enjoy it with and tennis was only fun at squad time. Every champion needs to have a team with them to get them over the line. A coach, to point out what skills that needs to be worked on and to give ideas for improvement. A trainer, to push them when they do not have the motivation or confidence to take the next step. Mentors, in whose footsteps you can follow and on whose actions you can learn from and improve on, mentors who you may not have even met personally but have done what you want to do. And finally a cheer squad, the people who believe you can do it and stand on the side line in the cold and rain waiting to tell you how wonderful you are regardless of the outcome. Who do you need to get on (or off) your team in order for you to become a champion?
It really is that easy to become a champion and a hero. So you just need to decide where your passion lies and follow four simple steps so that one day soon you can be a champion in the eyes of your parents, your children or maybe a whole nation if that is what you want.
Bronwen is a digital artist and photograph dedicated to producing unique gifts through her digital artwork. She is passionate about self improvement and inspiring others to be the best that they can be. Bronwen has studied widely in the area of personal development. Check out my website at http://www.art4inspiration.com