Many people ask me what it takes to reach the top levels in any given sport, and they all want silver bullet answers. While there are many factors contributing to an athlete’s success, the main one is quite simple: hard work.
That’s what it takes if you want to succeed in sports or life or love or anything else. It seems that point has gotten lost or forgotten or just plain ignored.
Less Talk, More Work
Too many athletes seem to get sidetracked about the nuisances of training. While many of those things are important, they all miss the mark on the primary factor in success: HARD WORK! I actually hear people arguing about some of the most ridiculous things. I recently heard two imitation athletes arguing over whether or not you should wear gloves when working out. Are you kidding me? If you are talking about things like that, you will never be successful. (If you are worried about the texture of your hands, that is a whole different topic.) Focus on the things that matter.
Many athletes feel they can achieve success with a nice, cushy, feel-good routine filled with bunny hops and med balls. Whatever! I guess it’s all about how you personally define success. To get to the elite levels in any sport, your training needs to increase continually in difficulty and intensity. I guarantee if you do that conversations like the aforementioned will not come into play.
I find that most people like the sound of saying they are working out hard better than they actually like doing it. Like everything else in our world, most folks want everything to be easier, softer, and not so hard. That is part of the reason why — as a whole — the world is fat and out of shape. It is our own undoing. Bottom line is this: the main ingredient to success is really hard work. Not a little here and there, but all the time, day in and day out. You must work way harder then the next guy and know what the heck you’re doing. Hard work in the wrong spot is not all that helpful. Learn what really is going on with your body and your training.
When I work with athletes and crank up their level of work — or should I say effort level — some people have called my methods and me “extreme” (or worse). I really don’t care what those people say because most of the time, they are not people who have any right saying anything at all. Most of those people are people that can’t work as hard as we do. Sometimes they are just making excuses for themselves and their lack of work ethic. Sad but true.
A Good Excuse…Is Still an Excuse
Here at Ultimate Advantage, when athletes come in to train, they know they are going to be successful. But they also know they are going to train way harder than ever before, because I believe in hard work. If you want to be your best, you must train like a possessed rabid animal. You must outwork everyone else all the time. Maybe a very few elite facilities match these levels, but not enough of them do. Not one person at any level at any chain fitness facility within 500 miles is even close. Most of the small gyms also fail by comparison. We don’t try and make it easier for you; I do try to make it harder for you.
Many coaches are afraid to push athletes for fear of injury. Hard work won’t cause injury, but improper training and bad technique will. Most athletes do not train nearly as hard as they should, maybe closer to 20% of what they should be doing. Lots of excuses are good ones, but they are excuses all the same. We don’t allow that; instead we will leave you behind with your excuses. We won’t accept them from ourselves or each other.
Many of you reading this would be uncomfortable at Ultimate Advantage and possibly tell yourself reasons why you can’t do this or that. Bottom line, if that is your mentality, then you’re right: you can’t. That is why athletes at Ultimate Advantage are faster than you; why they are stronger then you; why when you meet them on the field of play, they will destroy you. You need to work harder. You need to be mentally stronger. You need to train smarter. You need to push yourself way past where you normally would go.