Put Your Soul Into It
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history and arguably the greatest athlete ever. Michael’s coach, Bob Bowman, has a philosophy that is rather simple: We do the things other people can’t or won’t, do. Bob’s expectations are simple, too. It’s like the quote he had up on the whiteboard one day at practice a few months before the Games. It comes from a business book but in sports it’s the same: ‘In business, words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality.’
Phelps said, “Bob is demanding. But it is with him that I learned this essential truth: Nothing is impossible.”
What would happen in your sports endeavors if you believed that nothing is impossible?
So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach.
You work hard even when you don’t feel like it. Michael explains that your feelings (tired, bored, distracted, sick) have nothing to do with your commitment. You are either ‘All-IN’ or just practice when ‘you feel like it.’
There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes.
But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits. Perseverance, determination, commitment, and courage—those things are real. The desire for redemption drives you. And the will to succeed—it’s everything. That’s why, on the pool deck in Beijing in the summer of 2008, there were sometimes no words, only screams.
Everyone has obstacles. I learned that early in life. But I also learned another essential truth early. Dedication, grit, and willpower could go a long way in meeting, and beating, whatever challenges I would face.” –Michael Phelps
If you want to be inspired, watch a few of those events on YouTube. Check out gold medal #1: The 400 Individual Medley + #4 The 200 Fly (where his goggles filled up w/water and he couldn’t see yet still won gold and set a world record) + #7: The 100 Fly (won by 1/100th of a second) + The Medley Relay (#8!).
TIME, ENERGY, DEDICATION, HEART and… put your SOUL into it.
“Nothing in life is easy. You can’t wake up one day, announce you’re going to do something, and expect it to be a success. At least not consistently. You have to put time and energy and whatever you’ve got into it. You have to want to do it, want it badly.
That’s the point that perhaps some people who say they want something, whatever that something is, don’t fully understand. A lot of swimmers I trained with said they wanted to achieve something great but didn’t truly put time, energy, dedication, and heart into it.
I put time, energy, dedication, heart, and soul into it.” –Michael Phelps