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  • Colin Jonov

Six Things I’ve Learned From Working With Professional Athletes

It’s a blessing to continue working with professional athletes. The intensity level they bring is something I have come to love. I hope the athletes I work with learn a lot from me. Today, I want to share six things I’ve learned from working with them.

  1. Don’t seek to be understood. Being misunderstood is the greatest of compliments.

When you are chasing greatness, you will do irrational things. Average people won’t understand you. They’ll question everything you do, trying to drag you down to their level. You can smile, knowing they just gave you the greatest compliment ever: you’re on a path they’ll never understand. Once we get good at it, we will never want to know average people again. Average will begin to disgust us. If everyone understands you, you’re doing something wrong. Seek to be misunderstood for the vision you have for yourself.

2. Don’t ignore the hate. Turn it into actions that move you forward.

Harness and leverage hate to move you forward. We talk a lot about positivity, including myself. In part, I do this to overcorrect my natural tendency towards negativity. However, learning to use hatred as a motivator is powerful. Now, the caveat is that we can’t live in hatred. But, when you can take external or internal hate and use it to move the needle forward, you’ve unlocked a performance enhancement drug. Anger increases our speed, strength, stamina, and decreases our perception of pain. It’s like nitrous in ‘The Fast and Furious’. Use it at the right time. I used to think anger was a curse. Now, I know it to be one of the biggest assets we can use.

3. Ego is the enemy of confidence and belief.

Ego is for someone else. Ego is about status. It’s external, not internal. Ego gives other people power over you. It drives us into a constant state of doubt because it is driven by insecurity. It causes us to be loud to protect what we are insecure about. Confidence and belief, however, drive results. They originate from a mountain of evidence, proof of effort, and dedication. Confidence and belief come from acknowledging our insecurities and being willing to address them before anyone else can point them out.

4. Everything you want is on the other side of something that sucks.

You have to expose yourself to things bigger than you. There are levels to greatness. High standards are a must; you must demand them from yourself. This encompasses being willing to endure the pain of something that sucks. The 10,000-hour rule is a general guideline for mastering a skill:

10,000 Hours: This is the total amount of dedicated, focused practice time suggested.

Daily Practice: If you practice for 3 hours every day, it would take about 3,333 days, which is roughly 9 years.

Weekly Practice: If you practice for 20 hours a week, it would take about 10 years.

Get ready for 10,000 hours of suck because that’s roughly what it takes to get what you want.

5. Everyone has demons. We have to be willing to fight those demons.

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. However, beating those demons every day will bring more joy in life than any other accomplishment. I once saw a conversation with an addict who was 10 years clean. The question posed to them was, “How do you avoid relapse?” He answered, “We all have demons. My demons are drug use. However, my aptitude to fight my demons is greater than my demons ever were. I just have to win that battle one day at a time. Every day is one day, so I fight and win that one day.” This perspective shift is incredible. We all have demons fighting to keep us from where we want to go. But we have the power to fight them. We just need to be willing to do it for one day, every day. Over time, we build the muscle to fight back.

6. Obsession wins every time.

People who are obsessed, win. Don’t be upset when someone who’s obsessed beats you. Even motivation and discipline will lose to obsession. It’s important to recognize the difference. Motivation and discipline can carry you immensely far. However, when someone is obsessed, their mind and body will resent them for neglecting their sport. They will constantly question whether they’re working hard enough. They will feel weak if they aren’t doing something dedicated to their craft. They don’t take vacations. They don’t take time off. It’s almost a sickness for these people. They are like world conquerors. You simply can’t beat them.

No matter how much you know, or think you know, surrounding yourself with elite-minded individuals will change your perspective. How you view yourself and the world will change. Change your environment and watch how far you’ll grow. Ask any coach, and they’ll tell you that we learn just as much, if not more, than what the athletes will learn from us.

Best Regards,

Colin Jonov, Founder & CEO Athletic Fortitude

P.S. Want to share your experiences or challenges with us? Reply to this newsletter or connect with me on social media @ColkyJonov10. I’m here to support you on your journey!

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