Success in sports and in life, by its very most fundamental nature, emerges out of the soil of difficulty and adversity.  Success in sports is only engaging and interesting because of the overwhelming possibility of failure, by the design and construction of the test, competition or game.  Adversity is key to success.  If it were easy, there would be no sense of accomplishment, no experience of success, no high of victory, no celebration in winning.  It is the challenge, the overcoming of the odds stacked not in your favor, the digging down deep when all appears to be working against you, that rising above limitations, the reversing of defeat to victory.  Here is the rightful celebration of victory, the true experience of winning.  Winning is exciting because  it is amazing and unbelievable, against all odds.  You did it!

And, it is extraordinary, (extra-ordinary) because of what it takes to arrive at victory, both internally and externally.  The champion wins before arriving to the field of battle, all others show up and try to figure out how to win.  The champion wins in his or her mind first, well before the competition.  The champion wins in those quiet, alone moments, when he or she builds the conditions for victory and does the work, internally and externally, of what it takes to win.  The champion is willing to do what others consider to be boring.  It is the day-in-and-day-out grind, far away from the crowd, that builds the real champion.  It is the willingness to do the endless little tasks that stacked, one-upon-the-other, lead to the conditions that make one a true contender.  Then, the test, the competition, is designed to make even that near impossible, despite all your hard work.  When we see victory in ourselves and in others, it is super special.  That is what makes winning a thrill to experience, or to witness as a spectator.

Back in the 1970s, scientists designed and constructed huge “bio-spheres” that contained entire closed eco systems, including the growing of big trees.  All the conditions for growth and life were absolutely optimal.  But then something happened.  When the trees grew to maturity, they fell over!  The scientists could not understand why.  Everything was perfect.  Why would they fall down?  They finally learned that the reason these trees fell over was because there was no wind.  The trees grew in the absence of storm and stress.  With that, they did not develop proper roots.  Nature requires that we grow in an environment of adversity, or “wind and storm,” in order to develop the strong roots that support us when things get tough and to achieve the extraordinary.  It starts on the inside, personally constructing the foundation of victory, the overcoming of the internal winds of challenge, that work, ultimately, in the creation of the conditions of success.

The champion minded athlete or performer can look at all challenges and adversity as the environment that will naturally produce the personal root system that will carry them to success, if they have the right attitude.  Welcome adversity, challenge and the temporary agony of defeat.  Rise again each time from setbacks and your roots go deeper.  You grow powerful and you become prepared for stronger tests that allow you go to higher levels of performance and competition.  Welcome each moment with the clear belief in the possibility of your personal success, no matter what.  Faith in the future gives you power in the present.

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