posted on: December 9, 2018
author: Brian Lomax
In The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield writes about the attitude of going pro in the things that you do. The true professional doesn’t wing it every day. He or she knows what it takes to be successful, and does those things systematically. There are no shortcuts, only the commitment to do what is required. The work gets done and there is a routine to it.
Of course, you may not be a pro in your sport. But until you go pro in your attitude, you’ll never become one in your career. That concept holds for just about everything in life. According to Pressfield, the flip side of being a professional is being an amateur. While that may be our actual status from a money making perspective, being referred to as an amateur doesn’t feel very complimentary. In fact, it sounds like an insult. The word amateur comes from the Latin, amare which means ‘to love.’ Therefore, an amateur does something for the love of it. But if you’re not doing something to the fullest extent possible, do you really love it? Pressfield contends that the amateur doesn’t love what she does enough. Only the professional does.
So for this 50 for 50 post, let’s go pro in a couple of areas that could make a real difference in how you perform: pre-competition and post-competition routines.
In 2013, I wrote a post on Preparation and Success with several suggestions for things to include in a pre-competition routine. Taking that to the pro level would be turning that routine into a checklist and using it while you prepare. Much the same way a pilot goes through a pre-flight checklist, you should do the same. The pilot is very invested in the checklist because if something isn’t right, he knows he is going down with the plane. You need to have the same attitude. Don’t leave your preparation to chance. Make sure you’re ready to fly!
When you’re done competing, your job for the day is not done. You have to ensure that you will be in good shape to compete again whether that is later in the day, the following day, or some other time in the future. You must attend to your physical needs (nutrition, hydration, stretching, etc.), and your mental and emotional states. The timing of post-competition mental and emotional routines may differ based on a variety of factors, but at some point, you will want to do an assessment of your performance. Minimally, you should include the following in your assessment:
As with the pre-competition routine, turn your post-competition routine into a checklist and follow it like a pro. Don’t cheat on this checklist, as it will only hurt you going forward.
Strictly following pre-competition and post-competition routines is what professionals do. Show yourself how much you love your sport by going pro today. It will make a huge difference in your performances and in your self-satisfaction.
Brian Lomax founded PerformanceXtra™ in 2009 with a mission of helping athletes achieve their goals and their top performances more consistently through a progression of mental skills that enables them to focus on what is truly important.
Learn more about the author: https://performancextra.com/brian-lomax/