How do Pro Golfers, Pro Tennis Players, and Olympians do it? How do individual top performing athletes continue to perform an their highest levels without a team around them to help push them along?
The quick and easy answer is that they build a team. They have training partners, coaches, therapists, trainers and all kinds of other people. Lets look at an example
Michael Phelps has earned more Olympic medals than anyone else with a total of 22 Medals. He holds the all-time recorded for the most gold medals (18), the most Olympic gold medals in individual events (11), most Olympic medals in individual events for a male (13), and the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games (8).
He has had a a few personal lapses but no one can argue that he has had a lot of success as an individual
So how does he do it?
Have a Good Coach
At age 10 he met Bob Bowman at North Baltimore Aquatic Club
and began training with him. They teamed all the way through high school and eventually Phelps followed Bowman to University of Michigan.
Have Great Training Partners
Once Phelps got the competitive swimming itch he quickly got involved in high level training. The North Baltimore Aquatic Club
has produced 9 Olympians. After graduating he attended University of Michigan and was part of Club Wolverine swimming team. Between the official team and Club Wolverine they have produced 18 International Swimming Hall of Fame members, and 22 Olympians and NCAA Champions. Through all these clubs Phelps has had tremendous training partners.
Yes even individuals need teammates. Phelps has won 9 Olympic medals competing on relay teams. By training with other high level athletes not only does it make him better but it makes everyone on the team better. By making people around him better he makes himself better. It is a perpetual cycle.
In the Rome Olympics Phelps surrounded himself with Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones, and Ricky Barens. All highly competitive swimmers who also pushed his mental capacity.
Trainers and Other Support Staff
Phelps training includes regular massages. Finding the right therapist to help him recuperate is one of the keys to any athletes success.
Although Phelps has always refused a mental coach but many individual athletes use one.
“Michael’s brain chemistry is such that he almost has to have that competitive environment,” Bowman said. “When he has it in his brain, it’s like unshakable. . . . Part of it is a supreme confidence. Part of it is, he thinks he’s better than everyone else. And he is.”
The mental game is probably what makes Phelps stand out. There are many great athletes with a lot of talent but once an athlete decides to work on the mental game as well they become champions. When the mental game and the physical skills come together we are able to watch super-humans like Phelps.
So what can you do as a person who is looking to make changes in their life? Lets learn from what Phelps has done.
Have a Good Coach
Kind of a shameless plug, but I do believe I am a good coach.
A good personal coach (or life coach) is able to take an outside view of you and your life. Sometimes we get too inside ourselves and have a hard time figuring out what is the best action to take to reach the goals that we have set. A coach will be able to offer guidance and support in reaching these goals. A good coach knows when to push, when to give space, and when to offer a possible answer. As you and your coach get to know each other better you will start to think like them. Then you can offer your own advice to yourself.
If you are looking to become a Solopreneur or develop a Lifestyle Business you will probably be working alone a lot of the time. You can find a lot of support and a lot of teammates along the way. I am part of Fizzle.co
and inside this community I find a lot of people who can offer help to me when I am too inside myself.
My wife and family are part of my team, giving me space when I need it, and offering a lot of support through the frustrating times of building a business.
My friends offer another type of team. They are the distraction when I need one. They are the ones I call on to watch a game, go play a round of golf, or just hang out when I need some mental downtime.
There are plenty of groups that you can find as well. Look for mastermind groups in your area. If there is not one then create one yourself.
Other Support Staff
There are other people that you can add to your team and support staff. Maybe there is someone who you can trade skills with. Lets say they are great at coding and web design and you are good at writing. Trade and help each other out. Maybe they can help you with your health and fitness and you can help them with some home remodeling. Trade and help each other out. Maybe you have a good truck and you can pull them out of a ditch and they are a good cook and can repay you with some great wings. Trade and help each other out.
We all have different needs and we have different skills that we are good at. Find what your good skills are and help someone who could use your expertise.
Build a team around you and you will reach your goals faster than you can alone.