Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What Gayle Sayers Taught Me About Being A Champion

One of the first motivational speakers I ever had the pleasure of seeing was former professional football player Gayle Sayers.  I was only 18 at the time and my first real boss took me to a chamber of commerce dinner where Mr. Sayers was speaking. To say he had a lasting impression on me would be an understatement.

I was captivated by this larger than life figure as he took the stage and assumed command over the audience (who knew I would hope to do that myself one day!).  He shared stories about his football career and of course his famous connection to the movie Brian's Song.  He was no doubt a super star and seemed more than willing to share his super secret strategies of success for all who would listen.

One key component that stood out from Mr. Sayer's speech was champions are always honing their craft.  Even in the off-season they are scheduling their lives like champions.  Focused and committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to get their skills and abilities perfected and advancing them to the next level.  They put in the hard work even when the coaches are not telling them to or the cheers of the crowd have long since faded into the memories of last season.  I remember thinking and still do that success is completely under our control.  You see you can either put in the heavy lifting on your own and outshine your competitors or you can wait until training camp starts when the coach tells you its time to get into shape and be like the rest of the mopes competing for your starting job.

Now keep in mind this was over twenty years ago so the details of the message are a little fuzzy.  The one thing that I walked away with however that is crystal clear is champions build their schedule around being the best.  That has always stuck with me and to this day I approach each day with the same focused mindset and try to answer that nagging question...what can I do today to get better at what it is I do? 

It's a great question and one I challenge you to ask yourself as you pop out of bed each morning.  It has an impact and helps guide and direct you to be a champion in your own right. 

Ripple On!!!

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