Your psychology and mindset will ultimately dictate your potential as an athlete.

If you look at some of the top performers in any sport, there will be a pretty obvious difference in their mindset and daily behaviours, compared to other athletes and the general population. Before winning the 2016 Wimbledon final, Serena Williams was asked what it meant to reach three major tennis finals in a row. She said “For anyone else in the world, it would be a wonderful accomplishment. For me, it’s not enough. But, I think that’s what makes me different”. This drive to continually want more and be resilient and determined enough to do what it takes to get that is what sets her apart. To become a champion, you must have a champion’s mindset well before you are one.

As a youth or amateur reaching to be the best in your chosen sport/s, you must adopt certain behaviours and beliefs that will help you along the way. Put simply, to become a champion, you must behave like one even before you are.

Achieve this by doing the following:

1. Be accountable for everything that is happening around you. Take responsibility for your actions and don’t look to blame parents, coaches, circumstances, school, weather, equipment, etc.

2. Show resilience in the face of failure and setback. Take these as opportunities to learn and grow.

3. Remain composed in the presence of adversity and pressure. The problem isn’t the problem, the problem is how you react to the problem.

4. Be a nice person. Better people make better athletes. Simply, this means that you show respect to the people around you at all times.

5. Champions are organised and prepared. Whether that be for the unexpected, training, showing up on time with correct equipment, or regarding nutrition and level of preparedness for competition.

6. Show gratitude for what you have.

7. Have discipline for your actions and behaviours.

8. Show long term consistent commitment to all aspects regarding your performance.

9. Champions have a growth mindset, believing that their abilities can be developed through dedication, time and effort.

10. Strive for progress, not perfection.

What attributes of having a champion mindset do you think I missed? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to have a conversation around your thoughts and experiences with mindset and achievement.


Harry Weatherstone is the founder of the Youth Athletic Development Academy and the head Strength and Conditioning Coach at St. Andrew’s Anglican College. He is an ASCA accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach and has a Bachelors Degree in Sport and Exercise Science and Sport Management. Harry has been a sports coach for the last nine years, surrounding himself in high performance sport, athletic development and performance throughout New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and now Queensland. He has dedicated the last six years of his life to creating this movement in youth athletic development; investing countless hours into his own professional development to create the best programs possible for his students, athletes and clients.

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