Roger Crawford carrying the Olympic torch (left courtesy Roger Crawford). The trophy my father gave to my brother & me when trying to set our first Guinness World Record in 2007 flanked by the two books that highlighted our records.
In sports and in life you need to celebrate your small successes. Each improvement, no matter how small, will increase your confidence. Unfortunately in our society we compare ourselves to others in order to judge how we are doing ourselves. It’s easy to do. In school we received grades. Those can easily be compared to other children. In sports there is a winner and a loser. In life there is your neighbor’s house, lawn and car.
If we let it, comparison can consume us. STOP. Adjust your mindset so that you are comparing yourself to yourself. You want to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Compare yourself to ONLY yourself. Now self-improvement can be like a good stock in the stock market. There are days it can go up, be level and go down but all in all, just like a good stock, it improves over time. Sometimes the changes are subtle but the subtle improvements, especially among athletes, are the most important and challenging ones because they often go unnoticed by you. Turn your set backs into comebacks and be resilient when faced with adversity just like Roger Crawford says in his book How High Can You Bounce? Think of it this way. The US Army’s slogan is “Be the Best You Can Be.” It’s not ‘Be better than everyone else’. Nike’s slogan is “Just Do it” and not ‘Just Win it’.
Comparison to others will just foster jealousy, envy and self-dissatisfaction whereas comparison to ourselves is the best thing you can do to foster introspection, improvement and success. Look at the world’s top athletes or world record holders. If you are already the best at something then comparing yourself to others will only be a path downward. However, creating a mindset whereby practice today has the sole focus of being slightly better, stronger or faster than you were yesterday will lead you on an upward path of becoming a champion.
Sometimes in life you are the silent champion with no one knowing how much you’ve improved so make sure to give yourself a good medal.
I always welcome feedback at angeloarossetti @ gmail .com.
You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:
Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love
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