“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” These famous words were spoken by Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz who won a total of 9 gold medals from1968-1972. With just 73 days remaining until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, athletes from across the globe are preparing for competition. Many of these athletes have spent the last 4 years training for a competition that in most cases will last less than a few minutes.
Preparation is so crucial at the Olympic level because competition involves the top talent from around the world. This is no different in the world of business. Below are a few lessons that we can learn from Olympic athletes in order to prepare for career success.
- Make a plan. An athlete’s journey to the Olympics begins with a plan. For many, that plan may begin as soon as the day after the concluding ceremonies of the most recent Olympic Games. This plan includes training schedules and both short-and long-term goals in order to assess progress in the days and months leading up to competition. In terms of your own professional development, create a plan that includes similar components. Begin by determining short-and long-term professional goals. Next develop and implement a training regimen that will allow you to achieve those goals.
- Train. Once a plan has been created, athletes then go out and execute on that plan. They dedicate their lives to the sport and spend countless hours training and preparing for competition. Athletes condition themselves both mentally and physically. In fact, many train in conditions similar to the games in order to prepare for both the physical and mental elements of the competition. Whether you’re preparing for a job interview or an important presentation before the Board, dedicate yourself to doing your best and practice as much as possible.
- Believe in yourself. The most successful Olympians are able to visualize success. In the moments leading up to competition, athletes envision crossing the finish line first. Doing so keeps them focused on their goals and gives them an extra boost of confidence. The next time you find yourself preparing for a meeting with a potential client, take a few moments to visualize the perfect pitch.
Follow these steps and the results will be golden!