Better Every Day – Lessons from The Elite

Last month, I had the unique opportunity to travel down to Bradenton, Florida to the renowned IMG Performance Institute.

This is the place where the most elite athletes from all over the world come as youth to live and train for their specific sport. It is also where professional and elite level collegiate athletes come to maximize their potential earning power by becoming the very best at their skill.

Maria Sharapova came here as a young girl from Russia and won Wimbledon at 17 years old. These trainers know how to maximize the potential of a person through training them for performance.

Lessons Learned from Elite Performance Trainers

I brought back a few things from this symposium of some of the greatest minds in the world regarding fitness, exercise, body potential and performance that will stay with me forever.

1. NEVER compare yourself to another person or athlete. Compare yourself to YOU!

All you can give is your best. Outside of that, you have nothing else to give! If you truly know that in the allotted time that you have to train, exercise or perform that you gave your very best effort mentally, physically and emotionally, then you can have no regrets.

The challenge we face is, “What is our BEST”? There can be so much hidden potential inside of you that never gets unlocked because we are somewhat afraid of what it would cost us to dig that deep.

  • Failure?
  • Pain?
  • Despair?
  • Disappointment?

What great accomplishment in history did not have these things in its path as well?

John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, said in his book The Pyramid of Success that he never once in all of his years of coaching told his teams to “beat the other team”. I find that astounding because that is who they were playing.

Wooden thought of it differently. He told his teams that if they went out and played the best basketball they were capable of playing, individually and collectively, then winning would take care of itself.

And that it did. He won more NCAA Championships than any other coach in history.

  • Doesn’t your life deserve your “best effort”?
  • How can you help your spouse reach down and dig out the very best that is inside of them?
  • How big of an effect can that have on your marriage, your family & your confidence?

2. ALWAYS be positive with YOURSELF & with others!

The famous quote, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” is so true. So much of success and personal victory starts in the mind. It begins with the things you are saying to yourself and is followed up by the words the closest people to you are feeding you.

Instead of looking at a daunting workout or a 5K race and saying, “I can’t do that”, tell yourself that you are going to give it your best shot, AND DO IT!

Spouses need to adhere to the same principles. Don’t offer up so many obstacles and stave it off as “playing devil’s advocate”. Find solutions that will lead to success in the life of your partner. Your relationship and confidence in each other will grow exponentially because of it.

During one of our own group workouts at IMG PTI, Todd Durkin, elite trainer and owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, led our training time. Before we started, he did something so unique that to an outsider it would seem hokey and irrational, but it made such an impact in our workout.

He would shout out positive mantras, phrases and action words to us and we would shout them back at him. Things like “NEVER QUIT” “FEELS GOOD” “GREATNESS” “VICTORY” “OVERCOME” “DEDICATE”.

He was speaking positive power into our life and we were breathing it in and giving it right back. Practice this in your life and in the life of your spouse.

You don’t have to scream it at them like Todd did to us, but you can speak it or write it to them in a way that lets them know that you believe in them.

Write them down, record them in a voice recorder, speak them to yourself to remind yourself that you can do the things you are setting out to achieve.

3. And finally my favorite. Better Every Day.

I have adopted this statement and try to apply it to my everyday life. The idea is that if you can get a little better every day, if only 1% better, you will be on your way of becoming the best human, father, husband, friend, entrepreneur and athlete you can become.

I have written this statement down and read it every day. I want to make my marriage better every day. I want to make my fitness better every day. I want to be a better father every day. I want to make my business better every day.

One of the great philosophies I came out of IMG with is that you may not be able to throw a football to an NFL receiver for a touchdown, or throw a 90 mph fastball, or serve a tennis ball 100+ mph, but you can be in the same physical shape of the people that we watch do those things on TV.

Not one of them got that way on their own. They have a TEAM of people around them to push them to greatness.

Your team is your spouse. Stand shoulder to shoulder with your husband or wife and get Better Every Day.

Better every day,

Coach Nick

(photo source)

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