Your Inner Athlete column: Reach your own gold standard
I’m not sure if someone told me this analogy or if I read it somewhere. Either way, it introduces this topic perfectly.
The difference between involvement and commitment can be explained by a bacon and egg sandwich. In a bacon and egg sandwich, the chicken is involved while the pig is committed.
If you simply get involved in your training, you will most likely achieve some results. You may feel stronger, more confident and pleased with your progress. These feelings, however, will in no way compare to the exhilaration and satisfaction you will experience when you achieve your personal gold standard of performance through a full commitment to your sport.
‘DO A LITTLE MORE’
As Tony Gwynn, of the San Diego Padres and winner of eight National League batting titles, said, “It’s easy to cheat yourself and do just enough to get by, but that’s what everybody can do, just enough to get by. But those who want to be successful and maintain that level of success have got to push a little bit harder and do a little bit more.”
Being committed requires three things: First, commitment takes courage. You know the old saying, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Courage is committing every ounce of effort you have toward your goals even though you still might fall short. Courage is wanting success more than you fear failure. Only then can you truly be committed to achieving peak results.
Second, commitment requires some sacrifice. Top professional and Olympic athletes, in every sport, are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices in order to progress. Actually, when you ask them about the sacrifices they make, many admit that because they enjoy their sport so much, it doesn’t seem as though they are making any sacrifices.
Lastly, being committed means taking action not only on the activities you enjoy but also on the activities you don’t but that are equally essential to achieving your goals. Committing wholeheartedly to your entire training program will feel like work, and you will experience temporary pain and frustration. At these moments, you must use your outcome goals to fuel your motivation to stay committed to the plan that will give you the best chance at optimal success.
Now it’s your choice; you can be the chicken in the sandwich and probably earn some performance results. Or you can be the pig, commit mind, body and spirit, and give yourself the best shot at making your dreams a reality.
With a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology, Haley Perlus is a professor, published author, international speaker and peak performance consultant. For more free tips, go to http://www.DrHaleyPerlus.com or call 303-459-4516.