Have you been glued to the TV for the past couple of weeks watching the events unfold at the Rio Olympics? If so, why not take inspiration from the athletes? Here are some of the most valuable lessons you can learn from 2016’s incredible Olympians.
Hard work pays off
You only have to watch athletes bursting into tears and falling to the floor on the finish line to see that hard work pays off. Success in the Olympics can boil down to a single performance. But getting it right on the day is the result of years of graft and dedication. For the last four years, those cyclists, boxers, and runners have been training with a target in mind. They’ve braved ice baths, trained in torrential rain and pushed their bodies and minds to the limit. You may not be blessed with sporting talents. But it’s always beneficial to know the value of hard work. This lesson can be applied to every area of life. If you work hard, you can often play hard. If you put effort into relationships, you’ll get something back more often than not.
There’s a sport for everyone
When you’re at school, you may feel like you’re rubbish at sport because you don’t excel in the crowd-pleasing pursuits. Just because you’re no good at baseball, football, or basketball doesn’t mean you’re not sporty. The Olympics is a celebration of all kinds of activities, which demand a range of skills. If you wrote your sporting talents off years ago, why not give some other activities a try? Book an archery lesson or try Taekwondo. Take up fencing or reignite a passion for rowing. One of the best things about the Olympic Games is that it inspires people to challenge themselves and try new things. It also raises the profile of sports that may not always get a lot of attention. You may find that there’s a surge of interest in martial arts classes or that row machine workouts are back in fashion at your local gym.
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It’s not always about winning
It’s true that the winners often take all the glory at the games. But there’s also a lot of interest in those who have put everything on the line even to make it to the start line. There are tales of overcoming adversity or being the first person from a country to compete. The whole ethos of the Olympic spirit is the importance of taking part, and this shines through. In life, it’s the same. Sometimes, you won’t win, but this is no reason to feel ashamed. As long as you’ve tried your best, that’s all anyone could ask of you.
Teamwork is rewarding
It’s rare to watch an interview with a champion that doesn’t include a mention for the team at home or on the track. You won’t find many star performers who don’t thank their coaches, families and support systems. It may be an individual that wears the gold medal. But there’s often a whole crowd of people involved. Working with others is hugely rewarding, especially if you have a common goal. If you learn to help out whenever you can, you’ll find people willing to do the same for you.
No matter how many bumps there are, you can pick yourself up
There are few people in the world who get to the top without taking a few stumbles along the way. Most gold medallists have had days when they’ve come last in a competition. Most have overcome injuries or encountered situations, which put their career in jeopardy. The key to winning is picking yourself back up. Every hurdle can be an experience to learn from. The lows in life make the highs that much sweeter. If you’re really worked for something, you’ll feel even more incredible when everything falls into place.
It’s worth making sacrifices
When you’ve got a goal in mind, you may have to make sacrifices. If you speak to any sporting great, they’ll tell you about the early nights and missing out on time with friends and family. There may be days when you question whether it’s all worth it, but when you smash that target, you won’t have any regrets.
The Olympics is a spectacular showcase for sporting talent, but it’s not all about gold medals and new world records. There are so many valuable lessons you can learn from the individuals taking part. Work hard, surround yourself with the right people and dream big. If you want something enough, you’ll get it.