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4 Lessons You Can Learn From Top Athletes

When you want to be one of the greats, the best way to get there is to study those who have succeeded before you.

While every athlete’s path and methods are different, there are many lessons you can take and add to your journey.

Sports are filled with adversity, competition, high demands, and inspiration.

The best in the athletic world can teach you plenty of motivational lessons, but copying exactly what they do won't guarantee success. By looking at how others reached their goals, you can use that as motivation to help you accomplish yours.

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” — Babe Ruth

Four lessons you can learn from the world’s top athletes:

Don’t be afraid of failure

We’ve seen it with so many of the greatest athletes, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, and Stan Smith; they had to face failure countless times before they saw success. The best athletes out there faced constant doubt and overcame obstacles, health issues, and tough upbringings. But, even with the odds stacked against them, when people told them they couldn’t do it, they still believed they could succeed. If they lost, they bounced right back and put in the effort to improve and see the win next time.

Maintaining that level of optimism and confidence might seem unrealistic, especially in the face of an athlete's biggest fear; failure. But you must have that unshaken confidence and faith in yourself, get back up, get back on track, and do it all again. Improving yourself will only make you a stronger person and athlete.

“If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end.” — Julius Erving

Take care of your body

If you were a baseball player and could only have one baseball bat for the rest of your life, you’d take extra care of that baseball, right? That one baseball is your body, and it’s the only one you’ll ever have.

As an athlete, your body is your most valuable piece of equipment, so taking care of it is the most important thing you can do.

Taking care of yourself doesn't require being a professional athlete and exercising 20 hours a week; start with the basics. Get regular exercise. Eat healthier foods. Maintain a healthy, consistent routine. Get enough sleep. Be more physically active.

It’s the only body you’ll get: treat it that way!

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Don’t underestimate the little things

The lesson here is to stop and look at the small things holding you back, whether bad habits, resentments, jealousy, or guilt.

Stop and think about the little things and address and resolve them. No matter how small it might feel, it’s still holding you back from getting where you want to be.

When you address and get rid of those little things, you can move forward without the little things slowing you down and tackle those mountains ahead of you.

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” — Muhammad Ali

Work harder than everyone else

No matter their sport, the greatest players always work the hardest and train the longest. Athletes like Kobe Bryant, who was well-known for his work ethic, would show up hours before everyone else to get in that extra practice time.

The lesson here is simple. If you want to achieve something in life, sports or otherwise, you’ll have to work for it. When it comes to hard work, don’t compare yourself to that guy in the gym who trains longer than you or the guy you see jogging past your house every day. Compare yourself to the best of the best, those you admire.

Focus on those compound gains. When you don’t get what you want, stop and ask yourself, did you work as hard as possible to get there? Could you have done anything differently?

Hard work might not guarantee success, but it definitely doubles and even triples your odds. If you don’t do it, someone out there will put in that work, and they will get what you didn’t.

Work hard, do your best, and you’ll become the best.

Of all the lessons you can take from the world's top athletes, the biggest one is to never give up. Take a look at some of your favourite athletes. They got to be the greatest because they never gave up, didn’t quit when it got hard, and pushed through.

It doesn't matter what your sport is, your goals, or where you’re starting from; what’s important is that you always remember to dream big, defy all the odds against you, and deliver the best results.

DREAM. DEFY. DELIVER.

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“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” — Derek Jeter

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