Going for Gold – How To Become A World-Class Commercial Athlete

After hanging up my ski boots for another year, I can’t fail but be amazed by the skill and performance of the athletes competing at the top of their game in this year’s Winter Olympics. The sight of Lizzie Yarnold, hurtling to her second Olympic Gold in the Skeleton Race is a powerful reminder of the importance of dedication and hard work – traits that are just as important in the commercial world as they are in world of sport.


So with Team GB just one medal away from reaching their highest tally at a Winter Olympics, take the time to be inspired by their dazzling displays of Fitness, Agility and Resilience to help you go commercially FAR and achieve the extraordinary.


Putting in the Hours

Whether it’s watching Izzy Adkin win Bronze in the Slopestyle Final or David Ryding competing in the Slalom Skiing on Thursday, there’s no denying that it takes blood, sweat and tears to become a World Champion. In fact, according to the 10,000 hour rule, it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become world-class in any field. And this holds equally true in the business world – you need to put in the hours to hone your commercial skills so that you can drive your performance and achieve real success.


Persevering In The Face of Adversity

The ability to draw on your resilience and bounceback from setbacks is what differentiates successful people. Lizzie Yarnold had to battle against poor recent form, an ear disorder and a chest infection in order to retain her Olympic title. She almost pulled out after the first run but said, “I just tried to get the second run down and live to fight another day.” Being able to pick yourself up when times are tough is just as important in the world of business, after all as Einstein said, “a person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.” Commercial athletes need to adopt a glass half-full approach to help them be solution-orientated so they can compete in today’s uncertain and challenging business world.


Believing in Yourself

As Mohammad Ali famously said, “To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not pretend you are.” Yarnold demonstrated this winning mind-set when she said, “I love stiff competition and the pressure. And I love being at the top and thinking this is it, it’s time to deliver.” A great tool to help you build your self-belief is to visualise what success looks like – for Izzy Adkin this could be picturing yourself on the podium receiving your medal, for you it could be signing a major contract on the dotted line.


I hope that by following these lessons from Team GB, you will be inspired to keep raising your game, so you can stand out from the competition and become a world-class commercial athlete.


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