Training like you are in second place is not a new concept, chasing someone or something has and always will encourage others to work harder to achieve whatever it is they are seeking.
In my case I started my athletic career in high school, I had no real sense of competition before this and didn't really have a reason to chase or seek excellence, I know how sad is that. However, once I started playing football I had a pretty swift and hefty dose of competition. I was lucky enough to have some natural ability to play the sport, and I got put in a starting position off the jump.
The real issue came when I reached the senior team the next year. I believed I was better than the current player in my position, but the coach did not, I was placed behind him on the depth chart, instead of going into myself and feeling sorry for myself I decided to take it. Personally, I trained harder, practiced harder, and focused harder than ever before.
I got my chance when the player in front of me on the depth chart came off the field and asked to be taken out because he could not block the opposing player, I got my chance and rose to the occasion.
The reason this is important is that if I didn't get handed the backup position, I would have gone along just doing what I was doing I wouldn't have gone and made myself better, that is what training like your in second place is all about.
The Chase Is Important
The power of the chase is unmistakable, having a goal, a person, a thing to go after is nothing but pure motivation. You know what you are looking to achieve and you are doing everything you can to achieve it. If you are training like you are in second place, you are always going after that person or thing that is in the first place.
Having an aim in mind can be the driving force behind all the things you do going forward. Training like you are in second place may give you the motivation to complete a workout harder than before, give you the motivation to add an extra training session.
Even if you are at the top of your game, no one is better than you in your circles, seek out someone who is better, find a thing you can chase, The chase is a critical factor in moving you toward reaching your full potential. Nothing like getting a little embarrassed to get your juices flowing.
Find Your Rival
Every great athlete or sports team has a rival, possibly someone who is always getting that small edge; they seem to win all the time. Maybe they win some, and you win some, trading back and forth but you can never get ahead of them and move the needle in the right direction.
Rivals are essential in driving performance. You need to have the person who merely talks shit and gets you going. This person is going to get you to do things you once thought impossible. This rival is that person you may be chasing. Find that person.
If you can find a rival, you can find the one motivating factor that may get you to the next level. We thrive on competition as human beings and having that one team or one person that gets the absolute best out of you in all situations is only going to push your growth as an athlete even further.
Rivalries are notorious for producing some of the most exciting and awe-inspiring sports events of all time. Without rivals, we would not have games like that os the Cowboys and Redskins, or Notre Dame vs. Miami. Even sporting events such as Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal. These rivalries produced the best performances for all athletes involved. This is because they did not want to be in the second place spot. Find your rival and allow them to push your performance to new heights.
Choose The Hard Road First
Taking the road less traveled may not seem like it has anything to do with being in second place but here is why I include this in this article. There is no shortage of stories about the hero who goes out on their adventure and gets the most out of the trials and tribulations of the experience.
They were called to adventure and urged to do something spectacular. That road is not smooth, and it is not paved. It is filled with stones, fallen trees, ditches, and mud. That road is filled with hardships and learning lessons.
When you find yourself in second place or playing second fiddle to someone who seems to be untouchable or you can't seem to gain that extra step it is essential to take this harder road. The harder path is rough, and it is difficult, it is by far the least comfortable things you can do, but you will find newfound strength and lessons.
There is not an actual road that I am talking about I am talking about getting yourself to push past any of the comforts you usually have the day today and get yourself into a situation where everything is more laborious, ask for stronger shoulders, not for weaker circumstances. Find how you can make training that much more difficult and when you come out from that road you will be stronger faster, and better equipped to take on your rival.
Second Place= Not Worrying
If you have ever been a champion or sat at the pinnacle of anything you know that all you have are worries. These worries have little to do with training or performance but instead worrying about who is coming at you from below. You are at the top of the mountain, and you have all of these eager and hardworking individuals trying to get your position.
The benefits of having the mindset of someone in second place is this. Your focus is entirely on performance, on trying to reach your utmost potential. This mindset will keep you focused on the things that matter most, and that is your ability to perform any challengers out.
Sitting and worrying about how others can and are trying to take your crown is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy. Get away from this mindset. Chase yourself, be your rival and remember that you are always in second place. Worry about a better tomorrow not if someone is going to be better than you today!
If you are at the top of your game right now and feel the pressure of the competition getting to you, it is time to put your championship belt and regain what it was like when you were a contender.
That contender mindset, the ability to work through and push toward something with reckless abandon. Just because you earned the right to sit at the thorn does not mean you lose the ability to strive for more and more greatness.
Always take the hard road especially after winning the ultimate prize because if you want to keep that prize, you should be finding new ways to get better because those that are coming after you have already seen the steps to get to where you are now.
Get yourself a rival, chase them, take the hard road ALL THE TIME, and always stay in second place and you will forever be on the way of continuous improvement.
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