If you look up the definition of success in the dictionary, it states that success can be one of several different things. It can be an event which meets the goals which were set out when that activity was planned. It can also be a state in which you enjoy fame or wealth. There are many different ways that success can be measured and it is up to you what your personal way to measure success will be.

When dealing with sports or fitness, there are many different ways to measure success. For some athletes, it may mean that you are drafted to the team of your choice that ends up in the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. For others, it may be the gaining of a coveted sponsor who will help you achieve your dreams of financial security.

Depending on what your definition of success is you may need to work towards it in very specific ways. Often, this means training hard to improve your skills and overall fitness. It may be the achievement of a specific level of financial success that makes you feel that you have finally arrived. Or, more simply, it could be the fact that the team you belong to has one a specific game, tournament or championship.

Success can be a benefit and a hindrance to athletes. If you establish the marker by which you will consider yourself successful, you may be able to hold this in front of you as a valuable training aid. Knowing that each step you take on a run will help you be successful when it is time to compete in a marathon or triathlon will get you through that midway burn and keep you moving when you want to give up. Knowing that your goal is to win a match or a championship unlike you did in years before can be a great way to keep your team motivated and working together.

There can be a time, however, when the pursuit of success can be a problem. It can drive people and stress them out so that they break down and become incapable of competing effectively. If you are the coach of a team, you need to learn how to get your players to balance the need to succeed with a healthy perspective on the sport in general. It can be tempting for players to focus on the end result and this can cause them to miss a lot of fun and enjoyment along the way.

People are so focused on success that they often miss the journey that takes them there. Learning how to stay grounded and present in the moment while you look ahead to what you need to succeed is something which many players take years to accomplish.

Being an athlete is often a very difficult calling. There are many mental and physical demands placed on athletes of all levels and it may be difficult for them to hold up under the strain. Learning how to measure success on a personal level is perhaps one of the best ways that athletes can continue to enjoy the sports they are dedicating their lives to.

How do you define success?

Picture credit: DeusXFloridaCreative Commons Attribution

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