The Elite Athlete’s Profile
Don’t let the words “Elite Athlete” put you off first of all. Whether your girl can run 11.85 or 13.22 in the 100 meters, or your 400 meter boy runs 48.00 or 54.00, the attitude of being great and expecting greatness covers everyone who runs this sport. The ability to accept personal inconvenience is critical to every athlete seeking to fulfill their genetic potential. The following “Got To’s” make up the “Elite Athlete Profile”:
- Know the price of success and remain prepared to pay a little more each year (success has an inflated price tag AND NEVER EXPERIENCES A RECESSION).
- Greatness requires you to ask more of yourself than your coaches ask of you. All too often we want it more than they do, or they push themselves because they like/respect us. But what happens when they don’t like/respect us anymore?
- Liberate yourself from your peers that don’t share your vision: satisfaction with mediocrity is deadly.
- Be prepared to step outside the norm or the usual and be someone special. I have a girl who this year dropped her 100 meter from 13.00 to 12.85 and she believes it’s because she has not missed a day of practice after having missed 12 days last year.
- Believe you are special – elite athletes like you do what only five percent of the planet can do. That’s why there are more in the stands than there are on the track.
- It’s your responsibility to come to track prepared for a great performance by presenting a body and mind that is well rested, well fed, well hydrated and thirsting to make someone’s life miserable (not the coach).
- Lead the way to a superior performance. Regardless of your team rank, be a leader. Demand the best from yourself at practice, at the meets, in the classroom and at home.
- What does not kill you…………KILLS THEM! The slackers will want you to slack off so they don’t look bad. What kills them is your refusal to follow their lead or give a rip when they criticize you for doing everything the coach wants you too.
- Don’t hang on someone else’s expectations.
- Be able to turn your back on those who do not share your vision, or do not want to pay the same price you are willing to invest.
- Fight like Grim Death.
- If you’re going to be a practice/competition front runner, then you must turn your back on the crowd: it exposes your back to criticism and ridicule from the chase pack, but positions you one step closer to the finish line than they are.
- They only give three medals: Yours and what’s left. That’s a killer attitude. If there are 9 in the race…………………………..Beat 8!
- If it ain’t broke……………………………..BREAK IT!
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About Tony VeneyCurrently the Head Track Coach at Ventura Community College. Former director of the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country at North Carolina A&T In 11 seasons at Cal State Northridge, Veney coached three NCAA National Champions, 33 NCAA All-Americans and 15 conference champions. While at UCLA (2003-09), Veney led fifteen Bruins to either indoor or outdoor All-American status, coached six Pac-10 Champions and four NCAA West Regional Champions. USATF Level I, II and III Clinician and certified USATF Master of Coaching
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