Here we discuss what valuable lessons we learnt and how we can achieve our personal best to succeed in our career.
All eyes were on Tokyo at the end of July, and beginning of August 2021, as world-class athletes came together to shine in their chosen sport, and what they accomplished was nothing short of amazing. These athletes demonstrated first-hand what can be achieved through hard work, focus, and commitment. So, here are the valuable lessons we learnt.
1. Going for gold.
Athletes who go to the Olympics don’t train for bronze, they train for gold. Competing athletes trust in their endless hours of hard work, and can do nothing more than be the best they can be in that moment. The same can be said in your career. No matter where you are in your career, as long as you are trying your best and working hard you’re putting yourself in a position to be successful. And by putting yourself in that situation, you will be learning every day.
2. Jump over the hurdles.
Athletes face fears regularly. Although most seem confident, there will be moments throughout their career which has left them feeling anxious, scared, or even questioning if they’re cut out for this. What one person may find a walk in the park, another might see as their worst nightmare – and that’s okay. How you deal with it will determine your success.
3. Goal setting.
What keeps athletes on track? Goal setting. Not one athlete competing will be able to tell you their journey to success was a straight line. But goal setting can help to refocus, maintain and enhance motivation, and it gives you that all important ‘why’. Just like in sport, goal setting in your career can bring many benefits both short and long term.
4. Teamwork is key.
Individual sports don’t require teamwork? Yes, they do! The athlete represents all the management, brand, coaches, performance analysts, physiotherapists, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, family, supporters and the list goes on. The number of Great Britain staff employed by Team GB for the competing athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games outnumbered the number of athletes that physically competed. This demonstrates that the athletes are a product of their environment, and without the support around them they may not be as successful as they could be. Just like in the workplace, everyone plays their role and each individual will have their strengths. This is what makes a successful, happy work environment.
Some particular examples of this year’s Olympians that inspired us:
Tom Dean who won gold in swimming in the men’s 200m freestyle for Team GB, touching home in 44.22 seconds, an all-time British record. However, in the year leading up to the Olympics he contracted coronavirus twice, leaving him unable to walk up the stairs without coughing and wheezing.
Artur Dalaloyan, a Russian gymnast who won gold in the taut men’s team gymnastics final despite undergoing surgery in April leading up to the Olympics, for a torn Achilles’ tendon. This type of injury usually puts athletes out of commission for almost a year, but Dalaloyan was able to compete and win gold just three months after surgery.
Jolanda Neff, a Swiss cross-country mountain bike racer, was not on the potential medalist list due to a serious crash in training in 2019 which caused a ruptured spleen, a collapsed lung, and broken ribs. Despite this and breaking her hand six weeks before the Olympics, Neff managed to rarely put a foot wrong on the day and ran away with a gold medal.
These athletes have demonstrated the importance of going for gold, jumping over hurdles and accepting setbacks, adjusting short-term goals in order to reach their long-term goal, and utilising the team they have around them.