Dedication, Desire, Determination

Posted on April 29, 2010


At swim practice this week I noticed several things…you know, when you just sit back and really look at the team.  I was in deep thought, thinking about what it takes to be fast and the unrelenting desire to be the greatest you can be.  Then something occurred to me.

Young athletes always think they have all the time in the world. They think, “Oh, I’ll work harder tomorrow,” or sometimes they don’t feel quite right. They say, “I think I pulled a muscle”, “Oh my shoulder,” or blah, blah, blah.

“Youth is wasted on the young” could not be a truer statement! If they only knew how incredible it is to be in the athletic shape they are in!  Instead, they don’t realize what real aches and pains feel like…or how dangerous it is to think they will get to something tomorrow… Years can pass by!

So I went to one of my books, a motivational one that my wife bought me years ago, and I found a couple quotes from very dedicated and motivated individuals.

The first one is a very famous racecar driver:

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

Even though circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, NEVER lose sight of your goal.  Instead, prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.

–Mario Andretti (The Edge, 1982)

Wow—it is hearing things like that get the blood boiling in my veins.  What it also does is get me thinking of the young athletes I have.  Who has that type of desire? Who is into stuff like that?  It seems like they are more concerned with “Is the practice too hard today?” Hmmm.  I think ALL the practices should be difficult if they concentrate on the preparation of being great.

I found another quote by an NFL athlete that a bunch of you all may not know, but it’s a good one.  It talks about being a champion.  How many of you feel like this?

No champion has ever achieved his goal without showing more dedication than the next person; making more sacrifices than the next person; working harder than the next person; training and conditioning himself more than the next person; studying harder than the next person; enjoying his final goal more than the next person.

–Doak Walker (The Edge, 1982)

How many of you all can say those things in the profession you are in…whether it’s business, sports, etc?

So this week, let’s work on your dedication, desire, determination and working more than the next person.   I do know, when Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte or Natalie Coughlin get on the blocks for their races, they know in their heart they have trained harder and desired it more than the next guy….and they really, really want it!