I invite you to read over these keys and choose some very specific way you can incorporate them into your life and your business. For two weeks in the middle of August, the Robinson family was glued to the television. This is highly unusual – we rarely watch television. We don’t even have cable. BUT the event we were glued to was highly unusual and worth the exception. We were watching the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. During that first week of competitions, watching Michael Phelps, aka Superman, in his quest for 8 Olympic Gold medals was nothing short of mind-blowing. Of course he is physically amazing, but that is not what fascinates me about him. Below are lessons I’ve gleaned just by watching how he conducts himself on the world stage in the middle of a media feeding frenzy. NULL 5 Keys to Performing Like a Gold Medal Champion 1) Never Lose Your Focus or Your Cool. From all accounts, Michael had an exhausting daily schedule in Beijing. Heck just eating his breakfast would exhaust me. But no one ever saw him lose his cool or his focus. He knew what he had come to do. He knew that medal stands, press conferences, cool down swims, warm up swims, drug testing, etc. were all part of what he had to do everyday to reach his final destination. Losing his cool or his focus would have wasted the precious energy he needed for gold medal swims. 2) You Are Only As Good As Your Team There is no doubt that Michael Phelps wanted to earn more gold medals than any athlete in history – that was HIS goal.
But he simply could not do it alone. He had to win gold in the team relays which meant he had to be a team player. For the team to win those relay races, it had to be the TEAM’s goal.
Each swimmer had to be invested and committed to winning – not for Michael, not because it was Michael’s goal – but for themselves. I loved watching Michael cheer each swimmer on. And during his interviews, he always gave credit to his team members – always. 3) Never Forget Where You Came From Debbie Phelps was a constant presence poolside in Beijing. Michael credits her with being a rock in his life. After each record-breaking, gold medal race, he looked for her in the stands. He is a devoted member of his close-knit family and he acknowledges their importance in his life at every opportunity. Compare this to the volleyball team made up of brothers who don’t even speak to each other because one has such a nasty temper. Needless to say, that team did not make it to the medal rounds. 4) The Race Isn’t Over Until It Is Over Everyone, including his mom and the sports announcer calling the race was certain that Michael had won Silver the 100 meter butterfly. The swimmer ahead of him had quit taking strokes and was gliding into the side. Michael just kept on swimming – took an extra stroke and won a gold medal by 1/100th of a second. The replay of that finish will be played for years to come to remind swimmers not to quit until the race is over. 5) A Little Humility Goes A Long Way I just loved watching Michael on the medal stand. Each time he stood there – 8 times he stood on the Gold Medal Podium! – he acted as if it were the one and only time and that it was the most moving experience of his life. He never trash talked another swimmer or another team – and he always showed good sportsmanship.
And in the interviews after each win, he gave credit to someone else for helping him be where he is today.
So there you have it: Five of the Gold Medal Keys I learned watching Michael Phelps last week. It isn’t often that I get to watch someone with a champion’s mind, a champion’s heart and a champion’s spirit. I plan on posting these keys over my desk so I can look at them everyday for inspiration. What about you? I invite you to read over these keys and choose some very specific way you can incorporate them into your life and your business. Before you know it, you’ll be creating your own Gold Medal Performance:)
- 5 Keys to a Gold Medal Performance According to Michael Phelps by Sarah Robinson - September 1, 2008
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