Blog Post #244 – I didn’t make the Olympic Team this year

I didn’t make the Olympic Team this year

Yes, as the title says “I didn’t make the Olympic Team this year”.  Also I’m not going to attend (in person) the Olympics (winter Olympics) this year either.

One reason was I didn’t have a goal of making the Olympic team.  Of those on the team this year, I would guess 100% DID have the goal of making the Olympic team.  They practiced – hours and hours. They had coaches.  They competed many times (maybe every weekend?).  

Another reason that they made it (and I didn’t) was that sacrifice they made.  

TIME – I like the comment by Malcolm Gladwell that 10,000 hours in the magic number of greatness.  Now, there are only 8,760 hours in a year (and if you assume ⅓ of the hours you are sleeping), that is about 4,800 hours available.  If a person had a job, or is a student, parent, you probably are down to about 2,000 hours available for practice.  Taking that a step farther, that is about 40 hours a week.  In most places, 40 hours a week is the equivalent of a full time job.  Let’s take an Olympian that is 25 married and is working a job (money is essential too).  If you work 40 hours a week, train 40 hours a week, and sleep 56 hours a week, that is 136 hours – out of the 168 hours in a week.  Not much time for eating or doing ‘fun’ things – you are training for the Olympics – not much fun allowed.  And … 2,000 hours for practice will mean it should take you at least five years of “full-time work equivalent” to get to Gladwell’s 10,000 hours.

MONEY- For most of the activities in the Olympics you need to compete on a regular basis.  That probably means going to the various ski contests, or to the skating rinks regularly.  You probably have to have sponsors – or rich parents / friends / relatives – or a fantastic great job.  Flying from New York to Colorado to ski twice a month is expensive – plus lodging, food etc.

INJURIES – from the stories that commentators make on the Olympic broadcasts, almost all have had some injuries along the way.  Skiers have gone off course and through fences, etc.  Skaters have gotten too close to another skater and have been cut – or knocked out.  Hockey players are notorious for missing teeth from violent plays against the boards.  Coming back from injuries takes time.

COMMITMENT – It takes a huge amount of commitment to be an Olympian – and maybe even more to be an Olympian Gold Medal winner. Thinking of some skaters (or others) that started at age 10 or 12 – early on, the parents made the commitment – driving the fledgling athlete to and from practices.  (I know of hockey parents who take their child to hockey practice at 5:00 in the morning as it is hard to get ice time).  At some point the athlete needed to make the commitment their own.  They had to choose to stay with the sport – or to drop out.  It also takes commitment to get up early on those mornings to get your running done, to lift weights, and then still practice after school for four to six hours.  (Plus get your school work done).  

SO … how about you?  Are you ready to put in the time, the money, expect and recover from injuries and the big commitment to be an Olympic athlete?  Or … are you ready to put in the time, the money, and commitment to be a CEO of a major company?  

The choice is yours – if you want something bad enough, you can work your way through all the steps and levels to achieve it!!!

 

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White

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