Athletes all have the same goal. It’s handed to them the first day of little league or church basketball practice. Get better at this. They’re given a coach, schedule, space, and playmates. All they have to do is show up.
A structure and system is put in place for self-improvement. There is a brain working for you, and a heart hell-bent on motivating you to continue. You are gifted every conceivable resource to succeed, and failure is never mentioned or thought about. Who wouldn’t fall in love with this arrangement?
The competitive want is to keep training with a purpose. By becoming elite, by playing in college and/or professionally, the athlete can preserve their identity. They can keep practicing and training. They can keep getting better at what the world has told them they’re best at.
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The goal remains the goal.
Half the time it’s not even about winning. It’s about enduring.
Rocky was an iconic example. He kept showing up and just refused to quit. He was willing to do anything to stop being a loser. Winning was never his goal. It brought pressures and expectations that scared him. The man really just liked to train. Becoming a champion was a consequence.
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