Coach: Good morning. How are you doing?
Athlete: Great - feeling good.
Coach: Awesome, I checked your BTWB. You seem to be missing a lot of training.
Athlete: I have been doing a bunch of comps and the qualifiers for ABC, XYZ, DAF and WTF.
Coach: Why are you doing so many events? This is a crucial time of the year. It is important you building your base so you have raise the intensity between the open and Regionals.
Athlete: I know I know. They are so much fun.
Coach: Well, here is the situation - winning is fun. Qualifying for the games is fun.
Athlete: Ok, ok - I get it. I will do better.
A few weeks pass.
Coach: Hey, how are you?
Athlete: I am really down; I am having a hard time getting motivated.
Coach: How is your sleep and nutrition?
Athlete: Not good, I have been doing a bunch of appearances for NAME OF SPONSORS and traveling a lot.
Coach: What are they paying you?
Athlete: My monthly stipend is $250 a month.
Coach: So, you are risking your training for $3,000 a year? They post a photo of you with their product three times per week.
Athlete: I know.
Coach: Ok let's get on track. Your posting is really sporadic.
Athlete: They have photo shoots of us doing workouts.
Coach: Post the workouts. I worry if there is nothing there. We have to have good comparisons year over year. It is hard to write programming if I don't see results.
Athlete: Sometimes I don't like posting, I feel bad how good other people are doing.
Coach: Those athletes have been consistent in their training and posting. That should be an example to you. That is exactly what you need to do.
Athlete: I get it.
Coach: We post and compare scores so you can take a real world snap shot of where you are right now. See where your relative strengths and weaknesses are. The program is here to make you better; you can't get better if you don't know where you stack up.
Athlete: I get it. It is just hard.
Coach: You didn't start training because it was easy. Do you remember when I sent you the email about goal setting?
Athlete: Yes, its great.
Coach: Did you write your mantra and goals for the year?
Athlete: Working on it. I feel awkward doing it.
Coach: Being an athlete is your job. Doing things you don't feel comfortable with is part of your job. Training your mindset is a key to your performance. Post your goals on your mirror at home. Post them as your screen saver on your phone. Every time you do a selfie post, you see your goals.
Athlete: That is a good idea. Last year, I was so dialed in. I feel a lot of pressure to perform. I feel like I am getting pulled in 20 different directions. I feel like I don't want to let my public or sponsors down.
Coach: First, fuck your public. They are not your friends. The people who loved you before your were good and will love you when you're not, are your friends.
Athlete: You are right.
Coach: Second, your public have an interest in you because of how you did last year. They are a school of fish, they will follow whoever is the latest Weblebrity is and what they are doing. You are reaping the reward from last year’s efforts. You made the efforts and got the results.
Athlete: I get it.
Coach: The thousands of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook people follow you because of LAST year. Not this year. To be successful, you need to perform. Every year. The social media presence is how you pay for this years training. Last year is over and dead bury it but remember the lessons learned.
Athlete: I know. I get it. I get messages from people all the time about how I inspire them.
Coach: That is great. You need to qualify again in order to inspire them again. If you don't qualify again, they will find the new latest greatest athlete inspire them. Think of the movie Gladiator, the mob is fickle. But one thing is always the same, they love a winner. You have to do the work in order to get the rewards. Never forget that. People love two things: Winners and drama. Being a winner will make you a star. Do not entertain people by failing, making excuses and creating an online pity party. Don't be the athlete who makes up an injury to hide what you didn't do this year.
Athlete: You are right; I don't want to be a one hit wonder.
Coach: In order to build a career, long-term value for your sponsors, you need to train like it. Think of the best in any sport, they give off the impression they are just hanging out, but in reality, they are refining their game all the time. I harp on you to record data so you know what made you good. Many one hit wonders have no idea what got them to the show and as a result, they don't know how to get back.
Athlete: I read about Michael Jordan and Glen Rice and how hard they trained.
Coach: Do you remember any of the guys who were in the league one year?
Coach: Don't be that guy!
Athlete: Thank you. I really pulled head out of my ass. I got the mantra and goals are on the phone and mirror. Training is the best it’s been, PRing all the time.
Coach: Great - I really want you to succeed. Your posts are there. Now is the next step.
Athlete: Oh boy.
Coach: Every workout you do, there are lessons contained inside. The lessons are in how you approach it. How you break you sets. What reps your technique broke down on. Each data point is a measure of your capability. Keep track of what you do and how you approach each workout. You will need the information when everything is on the line. Part of training is the journey of self-discovery. Knowing your own capabilities is a key to confidence.
Athlete: I think I get it.
Coach: I looked at how you post now. It is negative. You keep referring to how you suck; you are deficient at this or that. Let me ask you a question: Is that in your head or reality?
Athlete: (Pauses to consider) Head
Coach: Positive and negative only exist in your head. How you talk to yourself matters. There are going to be workouts that challenge you. They are meant to. Every time you face adversity and persevere you get better. All workouts are is data points. The trend is what matters.
Athlete: I understand, what do you want me to do?
Coach: Whenever it gets tough, say out-loud to yourself: "This is tough, I am tougher." If you break down in a workout say, "I am going to be able to push that much harder next time." It is okay to fail, it is not okay to not learn from it and do better the next time.
Athlete: People are going to think I am crazy talking to myself.
Coach: People already think you are crazy for training like you do. If you were not a little crazy, you would not be here. What other people might think has derailed more people from success that just about any factor.
Athlete: You are crazy.
Coach: I am. I am crazy enough to believe in you.
Context: This conversation is an amalgam of many, many conversation I have had with Games/Regional and aspiring athletes over the last 6 years. The purpose is to help people understand they are capable of more and to get them focused on the task at hand, training. The real difference between multiple games level athletes and regional athletes is compulsion to do the work and what happens between their ears. Change the context some and you can apply it to your job or what ever scenario. The net result is much of the reasons for the things we do. The mental prep part is sprinkled throughout the entire passage. One of the keys to performance is mental approach. Mental approach is the difference between good and great, the difference between being in the show and watching it on your computer. There is no one athlete I have had this conversation with as much as it is all of them.