“When I’d get tired and want to stop, I’d wonder what my next opponent was doing. I’d wonder if he was still working out. I’d tried to visualize him. When I could see him working, I’d start pushing myself. When I could see him in the shower, I’d push myself harder."
Dan Gable, Olympic Gold medal wrestler and NCAA champion wrestling coach from Iowa.
The Edge, Howard Ferguson.
Dr. G’s comments:
Gable, perhaps the best wrestler that this country has ever produced knew the ultimate secret to success. Hard work! However, hard work is really only one part of Gable’s formula. There’s no question that to achieve greatness you have to be willing to work harder than everyone else. You have to be willing to do all the uncomfortable, sweaty, extras that most people don’t want to be bothered with. You have to be willing to pay your physical dues over and over again, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, and year after year. In the end, there are NO substitutes for consistent, hard work. There are no short cuts on the road to becoming a champion. It all comes down to one simple question: Just how badly do you want it? How important is that goal to you? Do you really want to make the varsity, break into the starting lineup, get that college scholarship, set the state record, or beat that particular opponent? If you really want that goal, then not only will you be willing to suffer and sacrifice, it will make perfect sense to you. The point I want to make here is that like Dan Gable, you must have an emotionally compelling reason to keep going. You must have something that you desperately want to accomplish, a big goal or dream to fuel your efforts, keep you focused and motivate you. Without a “big enough WHY,” working hard won’t make a whole lot of sense to you. Gable wanted a goal medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics and he wanted it badly! He took that goal with him whenever he trained. He imagined the threats to that goal, (his opponents training) and that fueled him to work even harder. Because Gable always kept his goal in mind when he trained, the quality of his training was the highest it could be. He didn’t just put in the physical work and time. He didn’t just go through the motions. He didn’t just do what he had to do. He did MUCH MORE! He put his heart into his training. By thinking about the obstacles to his dream while he trained, his workouts were emotionally charged. As a consequence, he got far more out of his training sessions than had he been watching the clock, just trying to get through them. This is what makes a champion. CONSISTENT, FOCUSED, EMOTIONALLY MEANINGFUL HARD WORK.