I’ve had the privilege of working with athletes of all different age groups and all different sports, this includes NHL players, CFL players, gold medal winning Olympians and of course the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose. Because of my experience in the field I often get asked what it is that separates the great players from the good. How come some athletes “make it” and some don’t. The perception a lot of people have is that the majority of the athletes that compete at the highest level have natural ability that far exceed the norm. While this is true when comparing high level athletes to a vast majority of the population I can assure you that when comparing athlete to athlete the biggest contributing factor is effort. Effort? Really? How can something so simple be the deciding factor? It’s simple, effort dictates everything we do, when we do it and how well we do it. It is the single most important factor in our success. Think of all the greats in any sport who have achieved legendary status: Jaromir Jagr, Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady. These players play or played with and against the other top players in the world in their respective sports, rose to the top and stayed there for a long time. What is the first thing people talk about when they mention these names? They talk about their work ethic, their dedication, their preparation. Guess what? All those things are 100% controlled and driven by effort. It takes absolutely zero athletic ability to be good at these things. One of my favourite quotes and best pieces of advice I ever received in my life is, “Be good at the things that require no talent.” Be on time, be willing to learn, pay attention, be ready to work. All of us have the ability to do these things well but you would be surprised how many people choose not to. Understand that it is a choice that you make every single day and it is all about effort. This message holds true for any endeavour you choose to pursue in your life. In athletics: be at practice on time, be ready to work, study your playbook, work hard in the gym. At work: be on time, read and further your education in your field. At home: listen to your family members when they speak, if you say you will do something do it, give compliments. All these are examples of things that require not talent, just effort and they will make you successful in all different aspects of your life. Effort is life’s greatest equalizer. Be good at the things that require no talent and you will have success.
Until next time,
Strength, Courage, Hustle, Commitment