Mental strategies of winners

Take-off professionally using success strategies of top athletes

Do you want to make a career change in 2018? Congratulations, you’ve overcome the first hurdle – you’ve made the decision. But are you struggling with not knowing how to reach your goals, or believing that they may be too high? Today, we’ll take a close look at the success strategies of top athletes, to gain some insight into setting the right goals and creating optimal conditions for your professional success in 2018.

Use the mental strategies of top athletes for your own success

Think Big

Concrete goals are the foundation of success. Many people have no goals whatsoever or simply work with the wrong people. At the beginning of the year, ask yourself what you want to achieve in your career in 2018 and write down these goals. You can achieve everything you can imagine and more, therefore, dare to think big! What is not possible in our imagination cannot be achieved in real life. Top athletes imagine just about everything, in terms of their sporting success, and believe that at no time these imaginings are unrealistic. So, for example, if your goal is to move from being the head of your department to a senior manager in 2018, ask yourself if you can really trust and imagine this reality. If this is not the case, you should mark this idea as a dream.

Action before results

Making result-oriented-goals is important – although action-oriented-goals are initially more important. An example to better explain this was demonstrated by the German national soccer team on their way to the 2014 world title in Brazil. The primary goal was to become world champions, a results-based target. However, the smaller action-related goals put this ”results-oriented goal” on the back burner. The action-related goals were, for example, “always be on the defensive”, “try and transition from defense to offense as quickly as possible” and/or “attack the enemy early and put them under pressure.” Without action goals, you cannot achieve results goals – just think of your “results goal” as being the sum of your “action goals”. Ask yourself what specific actions you can complete today to work towards your larger goals, and focus fully on completing those actions. Thinking in results goals tends to lead to mental pressure and overwhelming stress, whereas focusing on completing action goals seems much more attainable. In the World Cup final, no player of the German national team put all their focus on the overall result of the World Cup. Here concrete action goals were in the foreground.

Find a Why

Goals are the foundation of success – but to get you there, you need a why. For what reason do you want to achieve a specific goal? Every top athlete has a why stronger than any defeat. Top athletes act with an irrepressible will to win and train with iron discipline. But will and discipline are only effects, the cause of the will lies in the why. If you know why you want to accomplish something – and that reason gives you a deep conviction – it will result in a strong will and discipline. Defeats and setbacks will not stop you from pursuing your goals. A strong why is the best motivator – so define your why and get moving!

Challenges as a motivator

Competitive situations may be tiresome, or may offer you tremendous drive – it all depends on your perspective. Top athletes find most of their motivation from this competition. When one’s opponent sets out to win a contest, one’s own will to win is again ignited. Do you have one or more colleagues seeking the same position as you? If so, take this merely as additional motivation. Improve yourself and leave your competitors behind – no matter how good they are, you’ll be better! Delete the negative mental attitude à la “I have no chance against my colleague who has more years of experience…”. With this attitude you’ll block your chances of success. Successful people do everything to become better than their competitors. You too have 24 hours a day – use them! Concentrate on your goals and your ‘why’ and ask yourself the same question over and over again: “What conditions do I have to meet to achieve my goals?” If you actually lose out against a competitor, then use that fact for reflection, “Why didn’t I receive the promotion? In which areas was my colleague superior to me? How can I improve in these areas?” Focus on continuous improvement – this is the only way to create the basic prerequisites for your success.

The 10 best success strategies of top athletes

  1. Set goals
  2. Write down those goals
  3. Formulate more action-oriented-goals than results-oriented-goals
  4. Find your ‘why’ – Why do you want to achieve a certain goal?
  5. Believe in yourself – no matter what others say
  6. Be capable of changing your focus
  7. Use defeats as opportunities for self-improvement
  8. Don’t blame others for your defeats
  9. Always try and do your best
  10. Don’t look for excuses – one can always find a reason as to why they haven’t done something. Hold yourself accountable to your goals.

About the author

Markus Czerner seamlessly brings together the two areas of sports and business. As a keynote speaker and business trainer for mental strength, motivation and success, he shows managers, leaders and employees what they can learn from sports and elite athletes for their own personal and professional lives. Markus Czerner knows both the perspective of an athlete and of everyday professional life. He knows what matters in professional life and how leadership feels emotionally. In his keynote speeches and seminars, business situations are always related back to elite sports and vice versa.