Experience the Difference

The elite have total belief in themselves. The average want others to believe in them!

One of the things that I have experienced over a long time now, is that by the time that an athlete has progressed to being an elite athlete and have established their career, I have found them a dream to coach.

The elite athlete undeniable self-belief merely needs to be nurtured and supported and providing, as their coach I can keep a lid on their personal expectations and potentially artificially elevated ego, my job as their coach just got easier….for once.

Often, though this self-belief and confidence can be a little skewed and is in need of curtailing from time to time with a quick reality check and some external logical input but I would rather it that way than the opposite.

I rarely hear an elite athlete seeking continual approval for how they go about their training, recovery or competing.

There is so much self-belief in their pre-set processes that good results are merely a formality.

The elite are rarely going into an event in the hope that it will go well.

Instead they go into each event knowing that they will have a good event in the knowledge that every possible attention to detail has been enacted upon with regards to their overall preparation.

Their personal motivation to be consistent and ongoing in their commitment to being held to account to every single aspect of elitism is what sets them apart from the average.

There is an obvious personal empowerment that these athletes derive from knowing that they will almost always perform well because of their continued attention to detail is a refreshing change.

Every aspect of being the elite athlete needs to be personally important enough to make happen and not just the easy bit which is usually the actual training.

It has shown over the years that these ‘elite’ are certainly not always completely correct in their opinion and thoughts regarding their immediate requirements for their current event preparation but it is usually an easy conversation to have and point them to a more practical and productive path.

The most common issue here is that most will want to do exactly what worked before forgetting that it is highly likely that their prospective opposition are continually implementing fresh and new training and preparation strategies.

There is, however always the one that is of the belief they are completely different to every other human being on earth and truly believe that they can achieve highly by not adhering to the tried and tested.

Something I believe is this:

‘If you do what you have always done in this sporting world, you are going backwards’

As an athlete you need to do what everyone else is doing, and especially your opposition but do it better than them.


On the other hand the developmental and average athletes spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to convince their coach, their friends and most importantly, themselves that they are doing everything perfectly and they are doing well.

All with a degree of insincerity that is so easy to see through.

The amount of times I have had to listen to an athlete doing their absolute best to explain to me in ‘exacting’ detail just how well they have trained, how great their nutrition is and how well they are looking after themselves is in the thousands.

Very often this long winded explanation is not supported by their data (and they know it).

The impassioned veracity that this explanation often takes and the detail to which these athletes can go to is extraordinary.

If only they approached their training and overall preparation with as much tenacity and doggedness.

The eyes and body language say it all.

I feel I can almost see each person’s entire life but most notably, their overall health and fitness directly through the eyes along with careful attention to their body language.

It is so easy to see when someone is expressing their thoughts with purpose rather than with conviction.


Most likely my responses will be one of these:

  1. If I don’t feel that you are completely ready for your next target event, then I won’t be letting you do it. Why? Because, regardless of them imploring that they are doing well. I will remind them about now too, that you are not just representing yourself when you compete, because you represent me, your coach, your training squad and your family meaning that if I feel that any part of you or your support network will be not suitably represented by your lack of preparedness, you are not on this time around.
  2. Or let them do the event. This will show yourself, myself and everyone else exactly how well you are going, regardless of your desire to convince me and all around you that you are doing everything to the letter and doing well.

We all know full well that it is not me that you are trying to convince that all is well with your own attention to detail, it is in fact yourself.

People can sound and look so, so convincing in this scenario.

I judge people by what they do rather than by what they say. Words are just that, ‘words’.

The human mind is a very powerful thing.

You/we all spend a long time in our own heads, I suggest you make that a nice place to spend a long time.

Please remember this, just because you think it, doesn’t make it so.

If enough time is spent on self-satisfying yourself and self-support and personal back slapping, then it is highly likely that it is possible to be totally incontrovertible to have yourself believe you are doing really well when the reality is that you are not.

From the outside looking in, that is not what I see.

That is a complicated way of saying, please don’t believe your own bullshit.

The result that you achieve in your next event will be an exact replica of your input and attention to your training whether you are a professional, elite, age group or ‘weekend warrior’ athlete.

After reading all of my thoughts here it is up to you now to decide which category you feel you fit into.

Are you the ‘elite’ or are you not quite in the elite category yet?


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