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How to be Successful in Weight Loss: Lessons I Learned from Sports

Posted Feb 02 2011 4:55am

Sports have always been a big part of my life. I grew up being involved with everything from dance and gymnastics to softball, basketball, volleyball, and even golf. There is not a better feeling than being a part of a team and working with other people to reach a goal: win!

Although I have grown up since then and the availability of sports teams to be a part of has diminished, my love for playing the game has not changed and the lessons I learned will stick with me for the rest of my life.

This past week I was thinking back over my glory days of being MVP or making All-Tournament Team to those days without awards where it was just fun to get out there and play! I truly miss being a part of a team and playing a game that I love.

However, through this reflection back on playing sports, I noticed all the lessons I learned that prepared me for success in life. These lessons are what allowed me to get where I am today.

5 Strategies to be Success in Sports & 5 Strategies to be Successful in Life

After pondering these lessons for a little while, I came up the top 5 success strategies that I learned from sports that can help you achieve your goals in life. Whether your goals are for business success, weight loss success, or success with just plain living a healthy life, they can be achieved. Here are the 5 I came up with as the most important for success followed by how you can translate all this sports talk into your personal success in life and in health.

Planning is First Key to Success in Sports

First, anyone who has ever been successful has had to plan for their success. In basketball we would plan by coming up with plays and various strategies that would allow us to beat our opponents. In dance or gymnastics there was always a routine to plan. Softball planning didn’t necessarily include plays or routines, but it did take strategic planning for the pitchers and what type of pitch they would throw in certain situations in order to be effective.

Planning is not limited to plays or routines or pitching lineups, but also involves having the right gear, the top players, and time to practice. Planning also requires setting goals and determining a plan of action for the team which usually revolved around being at practices and games, giving 100%, sportsmanship, etc.

Without the goals understood by all involved, it would make for lots of confusion when it came time to execute the plan. No one would know what needed to be done in order for the team to succeed. There would be no direction. For any dream of success, there must be direction! It is vital to have a vision, some goals, and a plan of action.

Picture Your Success in Sports

The importance of visualization in sports can sometimes be overlooked. It usually is not the first thing one thinks of when determining how to be successful.

However, in basketball what will every player tell you about the key to making the perfect shot? They will say you must visualize the motions in your head of how to execute effectively because when you do get the ball, your body knows exactly what to do to make that winning basketball shot! Imagine being at the free throw line. When a player is in this high pressure situation, they are taking a few seconds there to take a breath and visualize the basketball going through that net.

Swoosh!

Underestimate the vital component of effective visualization in your road to success, and you may find you have an air ball!

What about in the sport of golf? Getting that hole in one involves setting up your position to the side of the ball perfectly, lining up your club perfectly, checking out the hole, visualizing how that little white ball will get from in front of you to that hole, and then following through with all those motions you just visualized.

File:Baseball Softball Love Festival.jpg Softball or baseball is the same concept. When I would play shortstop, while the pitcher was getting ready to throw her pitch, I would be visualizing what I would do if they ball were coming right for me. I would be thinking about that awesome back handed dive I would make to win the game or if it was a ground ball, how I would scoop it up and in one fluid motion I would throw out that gal on first!

When you are batting, you are thinking about that ball coming right over the plate and the motions your hands on the bat would take in order to make contact to for an amazing hit. No matter which position in this sport that you play, there are thousands of things to visualize being successful.

Believe in Yourself in Sports

Behind planning and picturing success comes the importance of believing in yourself. There is nothing worse than playing on a team with someone who thinks they are a terrible player! When someone has no confidence in themselves, they are more likely to play terrible.

In basketball, negative thinking about your skills translates into that missed lay-up or that missed free throw that would have won the game. Having no confidence on your ability to play great will lead to that turnover or the opponent stealing that ball right out of your hands.

Negative thinking in softball doesn’t fair much better. In softball you have the embarrassing ball that rolls softly through your legs syndrome. What about the swinging at a ball in the dirt? How about missing that routine fly out to left (and hitting you on the head)? These are not always due to lack of confidence because it still happens in the major leagues. But, when you do lack the confidence for success, you will find these events occurring more frequently when you otherwise have the skill to perform effectively.

Now how about this strategy of belief playing out in golf or tennis? Ever swung at air and totally missed the ball? Well, when you are always thinking you can’t, you get can’t results!

Negative thinking about the ability to play the game you have worked so hard to develop the necessary skills to succeed in, will just lead to more embarrassing moments that are not the kind to enhance your self confidence. Lack of self-confidence may even lead people to quit because they think of themselves as a failure!

Work Hard for What YOU Want in Sports

No one reached success in life or in sports without working hard! Those major league players worked years and years to get where they are!

I heard stories of my cousin who made it to the big leagues and all the work and dedication he possessed the majority of his life to finally reach success. He would arrive early to practice and be the last one to leave. He would give 110% even when he didn’t feel like it all because he wanted to be successful and reach his goal of seeing playing time in Major League Baseball.

No matter which sport you are apart of, whether you are a dancer, gymnast, or play softball or tennis, you must work hard to be good.

I don’t know of anyone in history automatically walking out there and being the MVP without some sort of effort beforehand. All those inspirational stories of success focus on one major theme: hard work pays off!

I didn’t fully understand this during my sporting days but have sense come to realize the importance. I wish I had known then what I know now. I worked hard. I just didn’t give it my all. The difference between mediocrity and success is the dedication to work hard for what you want to achieve and never take no for an answer!

Get a Coach in Sports

The final strategy that all successful athletes know is the importance of getting a good coach. There is always a great coach behind a successful athlete.

File:Tony Dungy award cropped.jpg If you are a golfer, you have a coach there training you and helping you improve your game all the time! In softball, basketball, volleyball and other team sports, there is a coach that leads the team to victory. Without a coach, there is not a support system, a cheerleader, a teacher, an encourager, a guide, or a drill sergeant that will lead the team to victory. A coach is necessary to motivate, inspire, teach, and help the team develop the skills and push them to actually achieve the goals they need to achieve.

A coach is the backbone to success. Without it, there is no one helping the athlete do everything they can to reach their goals.

No one can be successful alone. There is always a person or a team behind their success.

So, never give up and just get out there, work hard, get help, and do it!

You Reaching Success in Life

There is a point to all this sports madness! These 5 strategies that were mentioned above are critical not only for the athletes’ success, but also for the personal success of you! If you are struggling with achieving what you want in life, whether that be business success or losing that weight and keeping it off, there are 5 common denominators that will determine the level of success you can and will achieve!

Planning in Life

In order to reach any dreams, you must plan your path of reaching that dream.The first order of business is to sit down and really think about what you want to achieve.

Why do you want to achieve it?

Do you really want that or is it someone else who is wishing you would achieve that?

You must have a big enough “why” to keep you motivated and it must be something that you want to do for yourself.

Next, write out some goals you would like to achieve in order to reach that dream. Make sure the goals you come up with are measurable (you will know when you achieve it), have a time deadline, and are not overwhelming. It is important to start with small goals first which sets you up for more success than one big goal that seems very overwhelming. A goal that is too big will burn you out before you have a chance at success.

Finally, you will need to figure out your course of action in order to reach those small goals. What steps do you need to take right now in order to achieve that? What will have to change in your life to meet those goals?

Example:

File:Fitness ares 2.JPG Vision: I want to be thin and healthy with lots of energy and free of disease.

Goals:
• I will join a gym by Friday, January 28th.
• I will eat more salad by Friday, January 28th.

Plan of action:
• Look up some gyms in your area. Visit the gyms that look like they will be best for you. Sign up for a gym membership.
• Look up different salad recipes. Find some that look like they will taste good. Plan one salad per day. Go to the grocery store and get the ingredients necessary for the salad. Fix the salad everyday.

Picture Success in Life

Visualizing success with your personal goals is very similar to picturing the success with sports of making the goal, basket, hit, etc. It is important to think about what you must do to achieve your goals. What will you do to get there? Visualize yourself going to gym, doing your specific workout, and enjoying getting healthier if that is what you must do to accomplish your goal. If you want to be successful in business, visualize what needs to be completed and the steps you will be taking in order to reach your goals.

Take a look at your goals and your plan of action. Visualize you following through with your plan of action and being successful in taking one step closer to reaching your goals. Visualize what you will be doing to reach your ultimate dream and visualize it often!

Believe in Yourself in Life

The importance of developing the confidence to be successful and believe that you can achieve success can not be stressed enough. Right now make the decision that you can achieve weight loss or you can get that job promotion. Think positive about yourself. You have many gifts and talents that will help you be successful.

You must banish negative thoughts from your mind. When you find yourself feeling down about yourself, take a deep breath and think positive. Tell yourself that you can and you will achieve success. Stop listening to that inner gremlin trying to keep you at the status quo! In order to achieve anything you must break the status quo and your inner gremlin definitely does not like that! Get thinking positively and reach your dreams!

Work Hard for What YOU Want in Life

The steps leading up to this point all involved planning and laying the foundation for your success. Armed with the confidence that you can achieve your goals, you must now have the dedication to actually achieve them! Working hard is vital to your success.

File:Personal Training at a Gym - Pushups.jpg However, you can think positive until your brain hurts but the only thing that will allow you to be successful is if you actually put everything into motion! You must take action!

Take action right now to put your plans into motion and achieve your goals. Then work as hard as you can with all the dedication you can muster in order to actually achieve them! Get down into the trenches if you must, but do everything you can to reach your goals. The going may get tough, but the tough keep going! Success does not take quitters!

Example: (Vision: to be a fitness model)
 For you to reach your goal of a fitness model physique, you must work hard to actually achieve it. No sitting around positive thinking all day about how great it will be to achieve it. No sitting around visualizing success! You must get off the couch and actually work hard and be dedicated to put in the effort and pain necessary to get that body you desire.

Get a Coach for YOUR Life

Lastly, we come to the importance of getting a coach to achieve your goals. When it comes to the importance of a coach for sports there is no question that success lies with a great coach. The same is true for your life. There are many different coaches available and the number has grown over the past few years. The type of coach’s range from life coaches, business coaches, marketing coaches and relationship coaches to health coaches. There are coaches out there for pretty much any niche you can think of who are ready to help coach you to success where you need help. Whether you are ready to start a business, lose weight, repair relationships, improve your job, or even raise your child, there is a coach able to help you.

Make sure you look for a coach that is actually trained and has experience in their field of expertise because there are people out there who have found success in that niche but never received the training that will actually help YOU succeed. It is like the sports coach who never played the sport personally. It just is not as effective.

True success lies in finding a coach who will support, encourage, teach, and coach you to success. This coach does not tell you what to do and then you must do. A successful coach will help you determine what fits best for what you want to achieve. They customize their coaching to help you find how YOU can best be successful, not how they were successful so it will work for you.

There is nothing that will lead to your greater success than finding the right person to coach you and support you along to your dream. Stop trying to do everything alone, and find the person who will guide you find the right path down to reach your dreams!

So, in order for you to reach your dreams and find the success you are looking for, it is vital that you plan, visualize your success, believe that you can be successful, work hard toward your goals, and get the support and help that a coach can offer you. Stop trying to get there alone!

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