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10 Tips on Meeting Your Competitive Goals

Life is about learning to overcome challenges, and competing in sports is one of the most exciting ways to do that. No matter what sport you are going for, like running, cycling, swimming, or even triathlons, you have started down a new path. You have found something that you enjoy, and now you want to do more, to go higher.

My life has been filled with athletic endeavors, including skiing, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, running and years of working out at health clubs along the way. I was a competitive swimmer from ages 7 to 18. As a child, I resisted the long workouts and racing path that my parents made me take. I thought I was being tortured because I had to work out twice a day in the summer, including swimming the 88 pool laps which equaled a mile.

I realize now that my competitive swimming days were something that actually changed my life. Because I started so young at building muscle and being healthy, it put me on a path of fitness that I have followed my whole life. I believe I am healthier as an adult because of the workouts I did as a youth. Competitive swimming taught me the strong inner drive that I rely upon today.

Here are some easy things to remember as you prepare for your next race, meet or match. I hope these basic ideas will give you the inspiration you need to achieve anything.


Be confident

Confidence is the one thing you need more than anything else. Believe in yourself, and know that you are capable of doing anything you want to do. It is all about having a positive mental attitude, right from the beginning. Your mental focus is the power to go the extra mile when you need to.


Set goals

This might sound overly simple, but setting goals is another important step on the road to success. If you don’t set your goals, how can you get to any destination? You need to decide what you want to achieve, like what distances you want to do, personal best times to make, and what upcoming events you are going to compete in. It is up to you to set those goals for yourself. This is something no one else can decide for you.


Team up

This is another step that I believe is essential to success regardless of what sport you are in. Find someone, or a group that shares your interest. You need a partner that you can workout with, ride with, swim with, run with etc.. Any experience is better if you can share it with someone else. Other people can help you stay motivated and focused. And working out with others will help you measure your progress, while making it more interesting and fun.


Work hard

Competing in any sport requires some work. You will find out quickly that it’s not going to be easy, and it’s probably going to be the hardest thing you have ever done. Know this before you start and you will be one step ahead of the game. Whatever results you get will depend on the amount of effort you put into it. The harder you work at training, the more results you are likely to see, and you will be more prepared for your event when the time comes.


Be persistent

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is by not setting a regular routine for their training workouts. You have to stick with whatever program you have outlined for yourself, or your trainer has set up if you want to succeed. Your trainer has given you a workout with specific goals in mind. Be serious about your routine and it is important not to miss days or weeks. Breaking your routine is like taking a step backwards. Don’t let anything interfere with your routine.


Have courage

Doing something new comes with a unique set of challenges. And when you discover what those challenges are, you will need to meet them with courage. We all have fears about failing, or not being able to reach our goals. It’s ok to fail. What you do when that happens defines who you are. The only way to face your fears is to meet them with the courage to overcome them.

Don’t give up

You have to decide before you even get started that you are not going to give up on your goals when the going gets tough. You will have obstacles to meet like losing a race, or getting injured. Things will happen that you don’t expect. Don’t give in to your weaknesses. Be determined. Just keeping going and you will feel better.


Track your progress

It is essential to have some way of tracking your progress. Keep a record of what you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Then you can look back at any time and see how far you have come. Whether it is keeping track of your weight, your times, or your races, this is very important. I have always found that looking back helps me to realize and appreciate how far I have come and motivates me to do more.


Reward Yourself

When you get to a point where you have done something, whether it is a small goal or a large goal, like winning a race, you should reward yourself in some way. Celebrate the moment! Give yourself a pat on the back! Have a party with your friends, buy yourself something you have always wanted, especially if it is the right gear you need. You have earned it.


Share what you know

Some people may not realize the power in teaching what you know, but this can be one of the most satisfying experiences in life. After you achieve a goal, find someone else in your sport who could use a hand. Maybe you have to ask around, or maybe you know a young person who can benefit from what you know. Offer to teach someone a few things and you will discover that the rewards of helping someone else will benefit you in much larger ways than you can imagine.


A big thank you to our wonderful reader Karen for this inspiring and very helpful guide to help you achieve your goals. 

If you want to connect with Karen, you can follow her on twitter @idaho1111

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