Sports: Regardless of the Sport, Athletes are Much More Alike Than They are Different – Part III

Continuing our discussion from Part II (Wednesday), make no mistake, the last three categories that encompass the commonalities between all athletes when striving to succeed is every bit as important as the first three. Next up…the CDSPH Principle.

CDSPH Principle: An acronym created for Becoming a True Champion, the CDSPH Principle (Commitment, Discipline, Sacrifice, Priorities, and Heart) is where one’s desire starts to transition into action. Unfailingly interrelated—the components of this principle—an athlete must be committed to their goals, along with being committed to excellence. This commitment will require a high level of discipline in order to bring about the actions necessary to honor those commitments.

During this whole process, it is inevitable that sacrifices will have to be made as social events and other wants will inevitably get in the way. These circumstances force athletes wanting to achieve something to set proper priorities; ones where the most important things are placed at the top of their list with each subsequent priority following suit.

And then there is heart…the special quality that allows athletes to bring that little extra when necessary, when the “game” is on the line. It strengthens all other pieces of the CDSPH Principle as it creates the opportunity to turn the “impossible” into the possible.

Character & Integrity: Many might argue that one’s character and integrity has little to do with athletic success, and based on what we see from a good number of athletes these days (at many levels) that statement does seem to hold some truth. Any time athletes (high school, college, Olympic or professional level) make poor character choices, the fallout from those choices is plastered all over the media, leaving many with the impression given in my previous sentence.

However (and this is HUGE), to hold strong to a positive code of ethical standards, one that behooves a person to do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do, regardless of whether someone is watching (character); to be able to admit one’s wrongdoing and make a true commitment to being better (integrity); those two things take an immeasurable amount of inner strength. It’s the kind of fortitude that acts as an unbreakable glue, the cement in one’s foundation, bolstering every single characteristic that helps lead one down a path toward success.

Let me put it to you this way, no matter how good an athlete gets, or how accomplished they become, without strong character and integrity, they are not as good as they could be. They’ve still left some things up to chance. Show me an athlete who is considered to be “successful,” one with many medals and championships to their name, yet missing these important pieces, and I will show you an athlete who has yet to reach their full potential.

Mind-Set: This particular piece encompasses a broad range of areas, characteristics, and aspects, as the term “mind-set” centers on how one “thinks.” And, in most respects, it is how one thinks that will ultimately determine the actions one
takes. It comprises an athlete’s belief system , their attitudes, their ability to focus, along with all other thought processes regarding training and competition—each requiring a different type of focus. 

Athletes with a positive and resilient mind-set (something that does include a strong belief in themselves and their abilities) are able to bring to the table that deeper type of practice I mentioned in Part II under Goals. One that goes well beyond the “going through the motions” you see from so many others. Simply put, they are able to focus much more intuitively and profoundly on whatever the task is at hand. They see the “bigger picture” as they understand the importance of small daily improvements that eventually bring them closer to whatever goals they’ve set.

Goal achievement for those with a solid, functional, and organized mind-set is just a matter of time. They know how to “climb that ladder” toward success one step at a time, able to bring a more deliberate type of concentration to training and competition only a select few ever truly realize.

It is these six categories (the ones listed above and in Part II) that in some way, shape or form, both directly and/or indirectly, incorporate the many and varied aspects that enhance the possibility of athletic greatness.   And it is these same exact pieces that create the commonalities between athletes I discussed in Part I as the interconnectedness between each component listed strengthens any athlete’s (any teams) chances of success, of reaching their potential, no matter what sport they play.


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