In Becoming a Champion

There’s a saying: “Minds are just like parachutes: They only work when they’re open.” Want to become a champion? One of the things that you’ll need to help you get there is an open or “beginner’s mind.”

What’s a beginner’s mind? A beginner’s mind is an attitude of openness, an eagerness to learn that is not burdened by ego, needing to be in control or defensiveness. Someone with a “beginner’s mind” is open to looking at him/herself and willing to try new ways, to learn new things. Someone with a “beginner’s mind” will eventually learn more and develop the competitive edge because of this attitude.

Too many people mistakenly believe that being a beginner and “not knowing” is a bad thing. Consequently, these individuals avoid situations that put them in this “not knowing” role. Unfortunately the defensiveness that comes from needing to always be “right,” seriously limits you. Technology in and out of sports is continually changing. There are always new and better ways of doing things. No one has all the right answers because the answers are continually in flux. By maintaining a beginner’s mind you will be open to the new, to the cutting edge both in and out of sports.

This is the attitude that great coaches have. They are always looking for new, more effective ways of doing things. They are always looking for the competitive advantage. Their openness exposes them to new material and experiences which will ultimately make them more successful as a coach.

What about you?

Do you think you have all the answers? Are there areas in your performance as an athlete that could make you faster, stronger or more skilled? Be open to new experiences. Don’t just settle for the status quo. Challenge yourself and all that you know. Approach new experiences with the eyes of a beginner, with an air of curiosity and openness rather than the preconceived notions of an “expert.”


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