You Walk the Talk? The Mental Game of Success.
Championship world-class superstars
walk the talk of excellence, achievement and peak performance. Champions
are accountable and know what it takes to get to the top and to
stay there. Learn 10 key attributes of these super-achievers and
how you can emulate them in your personal life and career life.
Do You Walk the Talk?
The Mental Game of Success
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
World Champion Olympic and professional athletes
walk the talk. They don't just talk one way and act another. They
talk the talk and walk the walk of excellence, achievement and peak
performance. They have congruence. Their behavior matches who they
are as championship people. This congruency allows them to operate
closer to their potential more of the time.
What can we learn from these superstars? We can learn and adopt
the qualities of top-performing athletes by examining how they are
in the competitive arena. These peak performers have these qualities:
1. They Walk the Talk. Performers who just talk a good game
are a dime a dozen. Those who trash-talk are not able to let their
performance do the talking. They need to cover up a weak game. Champions
can be quietly dynamic, secure in the belief that they are true
champions. They talk about what they do because they can live it.
2. The Ability to Make Comebacks. Champions make comebacks
after every error they make. There has never been an athlete who
played an error-free game. They make comebacks after a poor performance,
after a slump, after an injury, after any setback. They will not
be denied in their march to success.
3. The Ability to Control the Clock. Champion performers
know how to control momentum. They know how to help themselves by
controlling time during performances so they feel in control. They
set and dictate the tempo of a contest.
4. Self-Reflective Time. Champions make time to review all
their performances and training systems. They consider this time
sacred because it is here that they make adjustments and practice
continuous improvement. They need quiet time to learn more about
themselves as people and how this impacts their performances.
5. The Drive to Improve. Champions are often not satisfied
fully with most performances. Something could have been better or
gone more smoothly. They accept the limitations of the day during
a performance and get on with the job, but realize that to improve,
they must maintain a critical eye toward flaws and imperfections.
They do this without damaging their self-esteem and confidence.
6. They are Resistance-Oriented. Winners resist losing. They
resist giving in to pain, fatigue, boredom, trouble, bothersome
opponents, and all else that stands in their way of success. When
trouble appears, they resist it. They never give in.
7. They Have Competitive Spirit. Champions view competition
as challenging, exciting, a test, fun, and allow the spirit of the
battle to raise their game to the next level. They approach competition
with gusto, a positive outlook and see it as an adventure.
8. They Embrace Win-Win Teamwork. Champions know how to be
great team players and how to make everyone involved be winners
in business and life. In sport, they often even view opposing players
as partners in co-creating the competition that will take both to
higher levels of performance.
9. They Take Responsibility. Champions are independent-minded.
They admit when something is their fault and resolve it. They don't
blame others. They take credit for their success and praise others
for theirs. They create their success teams, yet realize that the
ultimate responsibility for their lives resides within them.
10. They Play With Integrity. Champions compete with honesty,
fair-mindedness, and concern for their fellow competitors, team-mates,
coaches and spectators. They stand for the highest ideals of sportsmanship
and integrity at all times. They pride themselves on being good
people as well as good athletes.
Sport is one of the last bastions of performance accountability
and effort-to-outcome arenas left in the world. It is a put-up-or-shut-up
environment. Either you can do it, or you can't. Just yapping about
it isn't enough. You have to prove you can do it. You have to walk
We can use our top athletes as models for how we'd like to be in
our lives and careers. Take the very best qualities from the best
athletes and you will become a champion in your arena also.
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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