Whether you're a professional or recreational athlete, the winner’s mindset has to be there in order to yield success! Ok, the level of success might vary somewhat between amateur and top athletes, and this may be influenced by your genetic disposition, but the fact is you have to apply the key principles, and apply them consistently in order to reap the rewards.
A wise man once said......You do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do.
So how do you maintain this level of consistency in your diet and training, does it come via the intrinsic (internally e.g. wanting to win Mr Olympia) or extrinsic (external e.g. incentives such as a personal trainer/drill sergeant) route, or from a combination of the two? Picture a young Jessica Ennis running in her sports day at school, progressing to the national trials, and eventually winning Olympic gold in her home country. Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger preparing for the 1963 Steirer Hof competition in Graz, Austria, which surprisingly he was runner up in. How did these athletes go on to overcome adversity, defeat and the inevitable occasional failure? How did they persistently outwork their competitors, and how did they hone in on their genetics and maximise the nature nurture phenomenon? The answer is......The winner’s mentality! You either learn to have it, or you don't!
Arnold Schwarzenegger began his bodybuilding career with one thing in mind, to win the Mr Universe title. What lengths would he go to reach this, the answer is he would train in the basement of his parent’s home, developing the best physique utilising the only resources available to him...his bodyweight. Soon he was noticed by Kurt Marnul (former Mr Austria), which allowed Arnold to train in a gym further developing his already well formed physique.
He was prepared to put in the work at the gym, he was willing to eat and drink with discipline, and he managed to visualise his goals and implement the steps required to reach them, even if it meant going to prison for it! Arnold joined the Austrian army in 1965, but in order to compete in a national bodybuilding competition he was required to obtain leave from the army. Leave was not granted, so Arnold decided to go A.W.O.L knowing the repercussions, and was subsequently jailed. Incidentally, Arnold won the competition in Stutgart giving him the title Jr Mr Europe. He obtained his goal of Mr Universe by the age of 20!
So what does it take to be a winner? Using Arnold as an example, it seems a good place to start is to acquire/develop a steally grit and determination by visualising your goals, an unwavering focus on this target, and the ability to stay motivated and driven with your diet and training no matter what! Jessica and Arnold did it, so why can’t you?