Become Motivated Like an Olympic Athlete

Do you consider yourself an athlete? If yes, read on. If no, read on anyway-and find out why you should start thinking like one to get motivated and set yourself up for success.

Mariah Burton Nelson has been a professional basketball player and a sportswriter, as well as an author. Her story is very inspiring. She faced boundaries as a female athlete, when those two words were not often linked together. Mariah tells how the lessons she learned playing sports helped her take risks and make her dreams come true:

I wanted to be an author. I loved reading and writing, and that seemed like the most marvelous thing in the world: to write my own book.

But when I was 4, I wrote a story and showed it to my big brother Peter, who was two years older. He promptly intimidated me.

“You did it wrong,” he said.

After I retired from basketball, I remembered my writing dream. At 24, my life seemed to be going by quickly. I wondered, “Am I going to wake up one day and say, ‘Uh-oh, I’m 84 years old, and I always wanted to be a writer, but was afraid to try’?”

I thought about everything I’d learned in sports. Might any of these skills come in handy, I wondered, if I pursued becoming an author?

Now-many years later, I have accomplished my childhood dream of becoming an author, and have written four books (so far!). I’ve written hundreds of articles for the biggest newspapers. I still practice, writing almost every day. I still have coaches (writing mentors) and teammates (friends and colleagues who want me to succeed). When I receive rejection notices, I’m disappointed; but I draw on my athletic experience to remember that athletes don’t quit when they lose and this just motivates me more and makes me more determined to win.

Are you an athlete? Try claiming that identity. You don’t have to be a pro. You don’t even have to be on a junior varsity team. You just have to approach the world with an athletic sort of attitude, using lessons from the playing fields to help you reach your goals, as I did. Here’s how I define it: An athlete is someone who enjoys challenges; practices physical and mental skills with a goal in mind; and plays well with others.

Here are Mariah’s suggestions for ways to think like an athlete:

Enjoy challenges. Welcome adversity, saying “yes” when an opportunity to excel comes your way. Welcome pressure, too, using that pressure to help you rise to your best level of performance, on or off the playing fields. This is what athletes call getting psyched up (and non-athletes call being nervous, scared, or terrified!).

Practice physical and mental skills with a goal in mind.

Discipline your body and mind by rehearsing success—toward a particular goal. Whether you’re playing softball, playing the piano, or playing around with a computer program you’re trying to master, practice isn’t always fun, but it can be fun-and in any case it’s required for success. There’s really no other way.

Play well with others. Even individual-sport athletes (skaters, swimmers, skiers) and professionals in solitary pursuits (like writing) must respect and cooperate with teachers, coaches, teammates, officials, family members, and friends. Athletes focus on their own goals, but are also kind, helpful, and grateful to other people in their lives. Life is a team sport.

Think of yourself as an athlete. Act like an athlete. Pursue your goals using athletic principles like teamwork, practice, and persistence. I guarantee you this will change the way you stand, the way you walk, the goals you set for yourself, and the dreams you make come true.

With an attitude like this you may go on to become one of the greats and perform for your Country in events like the recent London 2012 Olympics.
For inspiration you can view information about the London 2012 Olympics at below url:
http://www.united-kingdom.com/Olympics-uk
And the London 2012 Paralympics events information at url:
http://www.united-kingdom.com/Paralympics-uk

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