The Top 5 Things Great Athletes Do (When their Coach isn't Standing Over Them, Asking for It):
1. Great athletes complete their strength assignments in full.
They realize that skipping little bits and pieces of their strength/agility assignment may not affect themmuch in their lack of strength/agility, but their skipping willaffect them in their daily practice of functioning with focused integrity -- the type of focused integrity one needs to be successful at the highest level of pressurized racing.
2. Great athletes view practice as a chance to perform at a high level.
From 'predicting' performance in practice to applying perfect technique, the best athletes find a way to make practice a mini-competition -- even though it's only in their own mind.
3. Great athletes have their best practices after their worst practices.
To do this, an athlete must first actually judge their own practice performance -- and then issue a grade for themselves (or a score of some sort). Great athletes enjoy leaving a practice knowing that they have improved -- and so if in the mind of the athlete improvement hasn't occured during a particular practice, the best make sure big improvement gains happen the next time out.
4. Great athletes are optimistic as they approach a performance.
It's easy to look for reasons that we think may lead to inferior performance (poor practice performances, meet warmup 'feeling' isn't 'right', amount of rest achieved the night before competition isn't adequete), but the best athletes don't think along these lines. The top athletes at any competition are in a mind state that is centered around controlling their environment -- and are optimistic in their excitemnent to 'let it go'.
5. Great athletes tell themselves the truth.
Athletes will always view themselves in an honest light. The mirror they look through shows the true reality of their own situation (as it pertains to training effort in and out of the athletic forum). There is no room for shortcuts in a top athlete's preparation, and the best athletes will recoginize a potential short cut -- and take the alternative (tougher, more detailed)