What really separates those who do from those who don’t?
When the reporters, analysts and critics start breaking down the performance of champions, you hear many of the same phrases repeated.
They try to put their finger on what causes the winner to make that last big bit of effort that drives them past everyone else to win:
• He just has that spark
• He’s just got a big heart
• He’s just a little bit meaner than everyone else
It’s an elusive quality to pin down.
What makes it hard is that you can’t see it. As professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey executives will tell you, it’s a very inexact science picking who’s going to turn into a star and who’s not. Every year they get the chance to draft new talent for their teams and the players selected will cost them untold millions of dollars.
Also, their performance will have a huge impact on their team’s successes over the next 5-10 years. A few bad draft picks can doom a franchise to mediocrity for years. They measure their jumps and time them in sprints and agility drills. All of this is in an effort to identify strengths and weaknesses of the player. However, none of these measures the most important thing.
It comes down to how bad they want to win.
It comes down to hunger. It comes down to how strong their drive is to prove themselves. This can be motivated by experiences they had growing up. A childhood of being put down by parents, siblings, friends or coaches can turn many into insecure, weak and self doubting performers. With others it only strengthens their drive to prove everyone wrong and come out on top. These are your winners, your champions, your stars.
That burning desire creates an incredible love for “the game.”
Sure they may enjoy what they’re doing, but what is a big factor is the fact that they drive themselves to get really good doing it and prove all their doubters wrong. They want to win but more than anything they want to shut their critics up. This drives them to excel which creates a winning cycle of effort because everybody loves doing things they’re good at.
It turns into a very positive cycle. They work harder, they improve, then they win more getting the satisfaction their looking for which in turn causes them to go back and work even hard and win even more and win even bigger prizes. The thing that keeps them going way past their level of talent, training or coaching is their intense hunger for success. You can’t train hunger. It’s either inside of them or not. But if it’s not in there at the crucial time they won’t make the effort that their hungrier opponent will and they’ll get beat.