As a coach, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am not easily impressed. I don’t get too excited about most victories. In my eyes, I expect to win if we have trained properly. Therefore, I rarely view a win as a reason to celebrate. Instead, I treat the victory almost the same way as a loss. I closely analyze the performance to determine what we did well and what we did wrong. Afterward, we get right back to work so we can improve whatever needs improving.
Always Strive to Improve
Unfortunately, many athletes fail to capitalize on the opportunity to improve after a victory. They get too wrapped up in their own hype while celebrating temporary success.
Listen below as I expand on the subject.
Embrace Victory, Then Learn
Please note that I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t enjoy winning. I am as competitive as anyone so I certainly embrace each victory we earn. There’s no denying that it feels great to win. I simply caution you against allowing the joy of one victory to interfere with another.
As mentioned above, no matter how good you are, you can always get better. Never spend too much time celebrating a victory. Embrace it, enjoy it, and then capitalize on the opportunity to learn from the experience. Don’t let it go to waste.
Don’t Fear Criticism
Over the years, I’ve had plenty of athletes who weren’t thrilled to hear my analysis of their performance (after a victory). Many have joked that I am raining on their parade. What I’m actually doing though is providing constructive criticism so that we can benefit from the experience and ultimately improve.
As an athlete, I believe it is important to accept constructive criticism. If you aren’t willing to identify and/or recognize faults, you’ll always struggle to improve them. Therefore, don’t surround yourself with people who will only tell you how great you are. Instead, it’s important to be around people who will tell you the truth (good or bad).
That’s how you learn.
In summary, to be a great athlete, it’s important that you hold yourself to a high standard. Never celebrate success too hard and stay open to constructive criticism (from trusted sources).
In all my years of coaching, I’ve never met an athlete who wasn’t capable of improving. There’s always something that you can do better. Don’t miss out on those opportunities because you are too busy celebrating a victory. By all means enjoy it, but get back to work so that you can continue improving.
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” – Henry Ward Beecher