8 Habits of Serious Athletes

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Can you guess what the following is adapted from? I spotted it instantly.

Habit 1 – Be Proactive
Great players take responsibility for everything that happens in their career. They take responsibility for their time and for making sure that every day they are working towards their goals. When you are proactive, you take control of your time and you stay in green lights. When you start acting reactive you fall into red and yellow lights.

Habit 2 – Begin With The End In Mind
Know what you want to accomplish. Have a DETAILED daily plan to take you closer to the overall goal. Remember, yard by yard it is hard, inch by inch it is a synch. Today + Today + Today = Your Career. Get the most out of today, live in the present moment, and the end results that you wish will take care of themselves, ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Habit 3 – Put First Things First
You must put YOURSELF first. Fighters can get consumed by things outside of their control, media, fans and people looking to get a piece of your action if YOU let them. Put your training and your health above public appearances, interviews and social engagements. When you put first things first, you prioritize and can feel good about saying NO.

Habit 4 – Think Win–Win
You’re only as good as your training partners! So manage your relationships well. Don’t beat on your partners so bad that they never want to train with you again. Instead think win-win. Make sure you show that you care about their MMA game and that you will help them to get better. That way when you show up to the gym you will always have someone to train with. Likewise if your training with fighters better then you, make your situation win-win by always giving them 100%, being on time for practice, having a good attitude… etc.

Having a win-win environment with your MMA training partners makes your team more efficient, provides a more positive place to train, causes less feuds and creates partners that want to see you improve instead of secretly jealous teammates that wan to see you fail.

Habit 5 – Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
Empty your cup young grasshopper. No one wants to train with a fighter that thinks he knows it all. Some fighters egos are so delicate that they think they’re always right. These type fighters never listen and are always the first to have the answer. In the world of MMA there are so many different styles and approaches, it seems that we all believe to have the perfect training formula or martial art style.

There is something to learn from everybody and from every style. So empty your cup first before every class so that others may pour there knowledge into your cup. Don’t make the mistake thinking you know it all or you’ll miss out on learning new things…. Seek first to listen (opening your mind to new things) and then to be heard (sharing what you have learned along the way).

Habit 6 – Synergize
2+2=5 or more. When you synergize you surround yourself with others who believe in you and help to make you better. Synergy happens when you are in green lights and are with training partners and coaches that take you to a place you can not get to by yourself. Together we are stronger than when we stand as individuals.

Habit 7 – Sharpen The Saw
Sharpening the saw means continuing to refine and rejuvenate your greatest tool… YOU. Getting adequate rest and relaxation., having an understanding of nutrition and how you can eat to win is an area that fighters need to tap into. Having consistent sleep patterns, consistent eating schedules and consistent thoughts leads to consistent performance.

Habit 8 – From Effectiveness To Greatness
Greatness is learning how to have a consistent routine that you can follow on a daily basis. It is learning from your mistakes and getting better everyday. Greatness is becoming a student of yourself and knowing what you need to do to fight your best fight. It is knowing how to get from yellow and red back to green as quickly as possible.

This is an adaptation of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, applied to mixed martial arts competition. Here’s the full article.

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