One thing that irks me about the word talent is how people use it as an excuse to not work at improving. As a guy that has an older brother that went to the Olympics with him, I hear about my genetic superiority all the time. I am not saying that talent does not play a role at all, but to suggest that the only ingredient is ability is insane. Talents always need fostering, and that is often done with elite athlete habits. A lot of athletes don’t think about the habits they have built because of how ingrained they are from a young age. If you adopt the habits of an elite athlete is not to say you’re going to go pro, but it will help you improve your life.

Elite Athlete Habits ?

Focus On End Goal ?

Great athletes always have a target in mind. For me, from the age of 6, it was going to the Olympics. When I got to high school, I decided I wanted to get a full scholarship. I thought about this thing every day. I built my mission and my day to day choices around these end goals. Always willing to sacrifice a lot because I knew exactly where I wanted to be

Anyone can adopt this habit. All you have to do is decide what you want for your health. Choose something you want to attack. Some people choose things like running a marathon, or the CrossFit Games. The point is you have to have a long term goal because that goal will help you to develop your elite athlete habits.

  • You Need To Know Where You're Going Before You Go

Focus On Daily Practice ?

Daily practice is obviously one of the elite athlete habits. I could always tell how serious an athlete was about their sport is if they were willing to skip practice. Great athletes don’t miss practice unless they are hurt, and even still, they try and train. In college, I had to learn to enjoy the rest because I would over train. I loved the idea of pain and training to get better. The pain of workouts became a drug for me.

Once you know where you want to go, you have to work on getting there every day. This is not a Monday to Thursday commitment. You have to commit to getting a little bit better every single day until you get to your goal. You need a coach and you need people you work with to hold you accountable to being your best.

  • Get Your Daily Practice On Point In Order To Keep Moving Forward

Eat a Balanced Diet ?

One of my favorite diet books is called Diet Cults because it confirms what I had felt and noticed for so many years. The majority of athletes are healthy, but they did not grip onto ant specific diet — they ere, not vegan, paleo, or keto. A lot of times, athletes would eat some candy or the odd drought. I know I did.

You need to be eating what the body needs for performance. For most athletes, the point of eating is to perform. That’s why many athletes with poor diets will not change until their performance drops off.

Anyone can adopt this way of eating. People always ask athletes what they eat, but they get a disappointing answer. Eating for performance is about eating to meet your goals. You need to gain weight, lose weight, or stay where you are. Whatever the goal eat to match that goal and it make sure your body has the fuel to perform

There are so many ways that you can go about doing this, but the key is that you are consistent. That is what habits are about. You have to show up and get them done day in and out, no matter how you feel.

  • Eat Right For Your Performance

Self- Belief is a Must for Elite Athlete Habits ?

Great athletes do whatever they need to do to be confident. Once you lose your confidence in sports, you have nothing. It does not matter how good practice is going; you will crumble when it counts. You have to believe that you have what it takes to be great! Athletes will go about doing this in a variety of ways.

  • Visualization of success
  • Meditation
  • Changing coaches
  • Switching training environments
  • Positive self talk
  • More practice
  • Dress good

Athletes focus on the things that they can control, and they work on those areas. The whole point here is you need to feel good about yourself, and like you can accomplish anything. When you get to this place mentally, you’re at your best.

Anyone can put this into practice. No matter what your skill or talents are, you can always use more faith in your abilities. The first thing you need to do is experiment with some different areas. Once you experiment, you need to pay attention to the methods that make you feel good. One thing I would do before every football game I played is laid my gear out on the floor. I had to see what it looked like before I put it on. It got me AMPED to play the next day. It made me feel good.

Feeling good is an excellent reason that habits build confidence. It feels good to be the person you say you are. It feels awful to be fraud, though. If you say you’re going to work out every day and you don’t, it erodes your self-confidence over time.

  • Belief In Your Abilities

Push Past The Pain to Develop Elite Athlete Habits ?

Elite athletes only become great by learning to push their limits and the threshold of pain. I am not talking about suffering from an injury here. If you’re hurt, you should stop and get help. I am talking about when you start running, and your halfway, and that voice is telling you to quit. When you can learn to shut that voice up and go harder, you step up to a new level.

It is not easy, though, because your body does not want to work hard. It wants to sit on the couch, conserve energy, and eat some salty chips. Your own body is fighting against your goals, and it sucks. When you lift weights, all the gains come from how many reps you can do after your body is burning. That is why ALI said that he does not even start counting reps until it hurts. The ones before are useless.

You can apply this to your life in everything you do. You need to adopt the habit of demanding a bit more. Do you want to quit working on your book? Push a bit more. You tired and want to go to bed? Hang in there for ten minutes more. Everything you do, you can get 1% more out of yourself, and over time, that 1% adds up to be a lot.

  • Once You Find Resistance Push Past It Just A Little

Stop Worshiping Talent Over Elite Athlete Habits ?

Any great athlete will tell you that they were around athletes who were better than them growing up. The difference-maker is the ability to recognize how to improve talent.

Talent is never given success. Work has to be put in, and you can put in that same work and use it to transform your life. The great thing about pushing yourself is that these habits will bleed into the rest of your life.

  • Habits Over Talent!

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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