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Will to Succeed

What is will? By a definition, it is explained as the mental power used to control and direct your thoughts and actions, or a determination to do something, despite any difficulties or opposition. In sports, this can be expressed as the the will to win. The will to do anything and everything you can to reach your goal and succeed. How will to succeed can help you become a better athlete is the topic of today.

Will to Win

In our podcast ‘Sports Intelligence’ we try to understand what does it take to succeed as an athlete.

On our first episode, we spoke with 2 time European Champion in Motocross, Edgars Meņģelis, and he said that one of the main reasons behind his success was the will to win and succeed. He said, ‘no matter how long it will take, I will reach my goal and become the Champion.’

Such mindset is a real benefit to any athlete and there are ways that you can apply it to your life as well.

Where to Start?

The first thing that you should do is think about what you want to achieve in sports and set a goal for yourself. You don`t have to tell your parents, your coach or friends about it but make sure you are clear and know yourself where you want to end up and why you want to get there.

Once your goal is defined, it is important to ask yourself what do I need to do to achieve my goal? This is where a coach can help you a lot. Because he has already worked with other ambitious player in the past and has seen what works and what does not work, he can give you some advice on how you should train, what you should eat, how many hours should you sleep for and so on.

The next step, is then to put in the work but just as importantly reflect on your own performance. For example, writing a journal where you describe your training exercises, performance and results will allow you to better analyse yourself and also increase your personal discipline which is a vey fundamental trait for any successful athlete.

What you need to understand is that it will take a long time to be successful in sports and that you will face many obstacles and fail many times on your way to the goal. However, you must take each of these failures as a lesson to better understand where you need to improve and then work towards fixing this particular issue. For Edgars, it took more than 15 years to reach his goal.

What Are the Key Traits of Will in Sports?

To be successful in sports you have to have some if not most of the bellow traits of will:

  • purposefulness
  • perseverance
  • courage
  • independence
  • emotional strength
  • self-control
  • self-discipline

How Long Does It Take?

The development of qualities of will is a life-long process and you have to work on them regularly.

Some of the obstacles that you will face, you will be able to overcome based on your physical, technical and tactical ability. But majority of the tough periods you will have to overcome by using your psychological skills and this is where will to win and succeed will help you a lot.

Some Tips to Work on Your Will

The development of will is not a automatic process but rather is a deliberate action that you can perform at any given time. As an athlete you need to learn the following:

  • to rule over your desires – doing what is necessary and required not what you desire at that moment (for example going for a run instead of playing video games)
  • doing everything to the best of your ability, no matter what the task is (for example, paying 100% attention to warm-up to prepare for training)
  • looking critically at your own actions and firstly looking at yourself and your approach to training instead of blaming others or circumstances in your failures (for example not blaming your teammate for not scoring the goal but thinking how you could have made a better pass to make it easier for him to score)

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