The power of patience in your athletic journey
Do you call yourself a hard working athlete? If you answered yes, YAY! You are already on your way to reaching your athletic goals this season!
But now you need to answer an even more important question - are you a patient athlete?
If you find that your hard work isn't paying off quick enough, you may loose motivation to train because of the long journey ahead of you with a race so far in the future, especially when faced with an obstacle or setback. Or, your high motivation to work hard may cause you to want to work even harder in order to speed the rate of improvement (especially if you are crunched for time with a rapidly approaching race) - Rest days become a waste of time, you give an effort harder than planned, sleep and diet are pushed aside in order to train more and you rush each workout in order to see faster results.
While you may be a hard working, motivated athlete, hard work only works if you are patient enough to embrace the slow and steady path ahead of you.
Far too many athletes suffer from the "I need results now" syndrome which is one of the biggest reasons why athletes fall short of their potential. Not to mention an increased risk for injury in the inpatient athlete as the muscles, tendons and ligaments need a lot of time for adaptation.
In a world of instant gratification and real-time tracking/data, it's understandable why athletes seek quick fixes when they "need results now". Although we know slow, steady and consistent work pays off, many athletes don't have the mindset to be patient and diligent when results are not quick to accomplish.
Success isn't quick and it doesn't happen overnight. It can take many months, if not many years, to become better, faster, stronger or more resilient/durable. To experience success, you have to put in the effort day after day, month after month, year after year. Even in the face of "no improvements," trust that you are improving and you are getting closer to success.
As we welcome the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics, I encourage you to take inventory of your 2018 athletic goals and feel motivated and inspired by the performances made by the Olympic athletes in each sport. While these athletes are genetically gifted, the only way to reach "Olympic" status is with hard work, discipline and patience. Countless hours of training when no one is watching, staying disciplined through adversity and overcoming countless setbacks makes an athlete great. In other words, don't focus on in-the-moment results but instead, focus on what is happening in the moment to foster future success.
Hard work only works as hard as you do and hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.