100 at golf, then 90, then 80. Or to become the club tennis champion. Or
to run the New York marathon at age 65.
2. All have specific goals. And they break those
goals down into achievable steps. So while the dream is always there, they build
on their successes. You can't become a world champion overnight; you have to tackle
hurdles regularly along the way - and celebrate each success as it is achieved.
3. All sports achievers combine mind, body and
action. They know that their goals can be achieved when they link the right mental
attitude, fitness, diet and physical skills.
4. They all have vision; they learn to visualize
their goal. To see their achievements in advance. To play through their next
football match like a video of the mind. Jack Nicklaus, possibly the greatest golfer of
all time - until Tiger Woods - says 90 percent of his success has come from his ability to
visualize where every individual shot is going to land.
5. They all have passion. They have an
overwhelming desire to succeed.
6. Each one has a coach, a mentor, a guide.
In fact, we can probably learn more about real education from the success of the American
college coaching system than we can from most school classes. If you doubt it, how many
Olympic athletes, basketball and football stars have emerged from colleges - where the
coaches are mentors, friends and guides?
7. All sports achievers have a fantastically
positive attitude toward mistakes. They don't even call them mistakes; they call
them practice. Even Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova belted balls into the
net thousands of times on their way to the top in tennis. No teacher marked those shots as
failures. They were all essential parts of learning.
8. They all achieve by doing. Sport is a
hands-on operation. You don't get fit by reading a book - although that may help with the
theory. You don't develop the right muscles staring at a television set. You don't
long-jump over 28 feet in a classroom. All sports achievements result from action.
Former American Olympian pentathlete Marilyn King says
all astronauts, Olympic athletes and corporate executives have three things in common:
"They have something that really matters to them;
something they really want to do or be. We call it passion.
Contents Page Preface