What Olympians and Athletes Know About Resilience by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Many business owners could take a lesson from athletes. Training teaches them a lot beyond physical strength and endurance. The best athletes internalize lessons about resilience that can help in all areas of life. This is one reason why so many of them go on to have successful second careers once they are no longer athletes. Here are three things intense athletic training teaches you about resilience.

  • Muscle memory is important. Repetitive training teaches your body to do things on autopilot. Muscle memory is good for things other than sports, and it helps you to do what needs to be done even under extreme stress. For this reason, practicing the characteristics you need as a business leader is very important so that they become second nature to you.
  • You never quit. The best athletes don’t quit when they lose. They know that losing is part of training, and each time you get up and try again, you get a little better. The best athletes have the mental stamina and the drive to reach their goal, no matter how many times they fail on the way to reaching it.
  • There are takeaways from every failure. One of the reasons athletes are able to keep going after a loss is because they examine that loss and use it as training for the next match. The loss is analysed and specific adjustments put in to place based on this analysis. The knowledge that the loss will make them better contributes to the ability to get up and try again.

Taking a few lessons from athletes can help you stick to your business plan and keep moving forward even when you feel like giving up. Continued practice makes you better, and a strong passion for success can help you move forward even after a devastating setback. The setbacks are always opportunities to improve, so long as you see these that way and are willing to examine your mistakes and make plans for the future. Great athletes are equipped with more than just well-trained bodies. Their minds are equally well trained, and provide great lessons for those of us in business.