When we talk of elite athletes we think of the heroes of the past and present. We like to hold on to their incredible records and performances and what they bring to the world of sports and the competition that is rooted in everything we do. Even business executives refer back to elite athletes when motivating or comparing their own results or where a team needs to focus. So what makes them tick? Is it the fame and fortune? Is it that insatiable desire to compete and win at the highest level. Is it all of the above?
When coaches look at their teams and plan for the future they have to reach deeply in to their philosophical beliefs on what their needs are both physically, mentally and culturally. How much of what they ultimately determine is third party beliefs and thus the opinion of others mixed with their own? Is this ok? Is this better than what existed in decades past?
Elite athletes come from families that push their children to the highest level of achievement. They are focused on providing their child with the best of the best that their sport requires. Whether it’s equipment, coaches or trainers. Some go all three and then some. These kids have mixed experiences from a social perspective so right away they will be placed on top high school program teams and the spotlight turns on ever so bright. The pressure leading to fame and the aspirational goals they begin to mature around can be overwhelming to some and incredibly impactful to others.
Coaches and their staff must set all these points of interest in to a collective summary. The NCAA allows the College Football Programs to offer up to 85 scholarships to represent their school. These are precious that can separate the powerful from the weaker schools. Computers are getting smarter and smarter and while the NFL has the “Wonderlic” testing tool the colleges have each other.
At the end of the day, the elite athlete wants to compete. They want to shine and win in their elected sport and influence the outcome of the game itself every game. They want to be at the top of their game and for coaches they must walk the path that makes this journey successful and functional to the entire team.