5 things Investors and Businesspeople can learn from Professional Athletes -part 3/3

There are so many things we can learn from professional athletes.

Most professionals have lived in a cocoon like world where they practice and work on improving themselves day in day out.

When they eventually retire or come out of that cocoon, I believe they have a huge advantage to the rest of us.

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve written about some of the great lessons you can learn from professional athletes.

If you haven’t read them, here are part 1 and part 2

Here are anther 5 lessons we can learn;

1. They are willing to pay the price

According to John Troup, writing in USA Today, ‘The average Olympian trains four hours a day at least 310 days a year for six years before succeeding.’

In the day and age of instant gratification, if people aren’t a success within 3 weeks or 3 months they quit.

It’s the reason investors look for quick fixes like hotspots or flips or chasing quick cash.

They chop and change their strategy and goals like they do their underwear.

Quitting isn’t an option for the professional athlete, they are in it for the long game, no matter how long it takes.

They are willing to pay the price, at almost any cost and time is never an issue.

2. They take their opportunities

Professional Athletes are lucky… right?

Sport TennisWell I guess that depends on your definition of luck.

It may appear that they are just in the right place or the right time, or the ball bounced perfectly in their direction.

Some say you make your own luck, but my favourite definition of luck is…

“Luck is at the intersection where preparation meets opportunity”

Yes, they may be in the right place at the right time, but I can assure you that that have worked their butt off (preparation) to get there.

I have also heard a similar saying in many business circles in that “the harder I work, the luckier I become”.

The wealthy and successful are not lucky, they simply prepare better and then make the most of their opportunities.

Do you?

3. They fall back on their training

The special forces face and incredible initiation into the SAS or the Navy Seals and they train incredibly hard.

property market updateThey do this because in the heat of battle, bullets flying everywhere, it is impossible to rise to another level, but rather they fall back on their training.

Their habits and instincts from hours of torturous training kick in and take over.

I am sure you would have heard the saying many times that someone has risen to the occasion on the sporting field.

Think about Kathy Freeman, the amount of pressure she faced at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in front of her home crowd was monumental.

I would argue though, rather than rising to the occasion, she simply fell back on her training.

All those gym sessions, the skills sessions, eating well and recovering is what got her through, along with her mindset and her burning desire.

4. They understand the theory of marginal gains

As we have already established, it takes the average Olympian six years before succeeding.

They don’t just wake up one day and it happens, or train for a year or so and hope for the best.


They understand they need to make incremental gains to be successful and continually improve themselves.

At the same time every other athlete is doing the same thing and they will all arrive at the same place, so how can they get the edge?

Enter the Theory of Marginal Gains.

The idea that something simple could potentially make a less than 1% improvement and then identifying more and more that could add up and give them the edge.

Take the British cycling team, up until the start of last decade have barely won a medal or placed in the prestigious Tour de France.

Some of the changes they made included;

Washing their hands (reduces germs and sickness)
Reducing pedal and other weights on the bike by mere grams
Wiping dust from tyres and grease from chain
More comfortable bike seats
Better nutrition and supplements

Sport TraningThe theory is that each increment provided a small gain… did it work?

Yes, they won 7/10 gold medals at the next two Olympic games and won the next 4/5 Tour de France events.

Like with sport, at an elite level of business what are some things you can do to get the edge over your competition.

5. Their confidence is sky high

The best advocate for this is the great Mohammed Ali who is renowned for saying “I am the greatest!”

Watch the Michael Jordan’s and the Tom Brady’s of this world, they exude confidence.

Tom Brady the most successful NFL Quarterback in history is a great example of self-confidence.

Nfl: Miami Dolphins At New England PatriotsIn the Draft Camp, he rated near the bottom on almost every exercise, he was also the slowest athlete and he was barely on anyone’s radar.

Brady was eventually drafted 199th, again at the bottom of the field, but he had the self-confidence to know that what he did well – play football.

As investors and businesspeople we all face constant criticism from friends, family and external sources at times.

You must have the self-confidence and belief in yourself to be successful.


This concludes the 3-part series into what Investors and Businesspeople can learn from professional athletes.

Here is the list in its entirety;

A Burning Desire – dream BIG
They set clear goals
Build a great team around them
A Burning Desire – dream BIG
They set clear goals
Build a great team around them
A Burning Desire – dream BIG
They set clear goals
Build a great team around them

Professional athletes may be at a huge advantage to us mere mortals when it comes to life after sport.

However, they still must be able to implement what they have learnt in their post Professional days.

The positive also is that these skills and tools can also be learned.

These are the success principles that could change your life.

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