competitor 1

“I’ll be back.”

You’re thinking of Arnold aren’t you? I know I am. Yesterday I showed my team a clip from Terminator 2. (Hey, you have to think outside the box sometimes). The clip was near the end of the movie where the two terminators are battling it out in the warehouse. You know the clip where Arnold gets his head bashed in and it seems like it’s all over for him.

But…

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At the last moment he miraculously comes back up the platform on some sort of pulley thing and saves the day, along with John and Sarah Conner. (I just got depressed because I realized Linda Hamilton has bigger biceps in that movie than I do, but don’t tell my wife that).

The reason I showed my team that clip is because the terminator is hard-wired to protect John and Sarah. He won’t give up until the bad guy is dead. He competes relentlessly to protect them, and ultimately destroys himself to ensure their safety.

I told my players I want them to compete like the terminator for the rest of the season. I told them to be relentless in their pursuit for greatness. They need to finish strong and never give in.

The whole idea for this blog came from Superbowl Sunday. I hate the Patriots. (I still blame “Spygate” for the Rams losing Superbowl 36). However, I do respect them.

As we were getting ready for bed the post-game interviews were on tv and my wife said, “Geez, say something different. All they say is “we just compete. Every guy competes to the end.” It seemed as if every Patriot player and coach all said this first when interviewed.

She wondered why they kept saying it, thought is was incredibly boring and repetitive, but I told her “they say it because it’s true.”

Most people don’t succeed because they think there’s this mysterious secret to success. There is no secret. The best compete all day, every day, until the final horn goes off.

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Just look at the last year in professional sports…

-Cavs come back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the 73-win Warriors in the NBA Finals.

-Cubs come back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Indians to win the World Series.

-Patriots erase a 28-3 2nd half deficit to defeat the Falcons and win the Superbowl.

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How’d each team do it? They competed. It’s cliche, but for a reason. Because it’s the truth and it’s what the best do better than anyone else. Like Yogi Bera said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Here are six traits of great competitors:

Believe. Great competitors believe in themselves and their teammates. One can’t complete at a high level unless there’s belief. A great competitor is an individual with tremendous fight. They refuse to give in. They believe there’s always a chance as long as there’s time left on the clock.

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Calm and cool. Great competitors look like a duck. On the surface they appear cool, calm, and collected. But underneath they are kicking like crazy. Great competitors don’t get rattled. They are leaders who project supreme confidence onto their teammates. In doing so, these individuals are able to raise their teammates to a higher level.

Instill confidence. Great competitors lead by example and are supremely confident. They work hard and put in unrequired work. These individuals lift others up and give them confidence. Their teammates believe they always have a chance because they’re on the same team. The inner confidence of the great competitor is projected outwardly and soon becomes contagious.

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Trust the process. Great competitors are self-aware. They don’t try to do something they’re capable of. They know their strengths and the use them. Great competitors trust their ability, coaches, teammates and embrace the journey. They are disciplined and self-driven individuals who realize the journey itself is the true reward.

Have desire. Great competitors desire to be great. They work relentlessly to improve, and their best work comes when no one is watching. These competitors are the first ones in and the last ones out. They are grinding when there’s no lights, cameras, or crowd cheering them on. Great competitors want to max their potential and be the best they can possibly can be.

“Sometimes you win, other times you learn.”

Know how to lose. Great competitors understand there is no failure. You don’t fail, you learn from the experience and get better. These individuals are humble. They realize humility is necessary for improvement. Great competitors are able to recognize their faults, and work hard to improve them.

Great competitors are winners. They believe, trust the process, work hard, and never give up.

Just Compete!

How do you define a great competitor? Who’s the greatest competitor you’ve ever seen or competed against?

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!

~Kyle
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.