As I watch these 2014 Sochi Olympics, I am reflecting on the amazing athletes and what brought them this far in their journey.  Like any person who truly excels in their field, it is their inner qualities that seem to be the driving force in their careers.  From top executives in Fortune 500 companies to Olympians to Rockstars, all have either learned or innately possess these qualities.
DISCIPLINE –  to train to obey rules or a code of behavior
Notice that the definition doesn’t say to obey rules, but to TRAIN to obey rules or a code of behavior… All the time. Every time. Without fail.  Consistency is one of the very hardest things do develop in any sport.  In my humble opinion, this is because most people lack the self-discipline it takes to make yourself hold to the intense regimens that greatness requires.  However, those that do master discipline, are destined to be better at anything they take on.
CONFIDENCE – a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something. The feeling of being certain that something will happen.
Do you ever go to a rock show and the artist comes shyly walking onto the stage with no music going to quietly introduce themselves…NO!!!  They come out gun a-blazin’, fireworks shootin’, music blarin’, drums bangin’, people screamin’, and ready to give you the show of a LIFETIME!  They know their band is talented. They know their songs are amazing.  They know that everyone in the audience is a huge fan.  They know in their hearts that they are going to put on a truly great show.  This is how we all MUST feel when “stepping up to the plate.” Trust your training, and KNOW you are ready.
COACH-ABILITY – Being self-aware enough to know when to learn from the wisdom of others.
OK.  You got me.  I made this word up, and it was not in the dictionary. However, I feel like the definition I provided gives an accurate picture.  This is not just the ability to learn from others like a sponge.  It is the intelligence and self-awareness you have to know when someone is around that you could and should learn from!  This is why amazing singers STILL go to vocal coaches.  This is why Tiger Woods has a mentor and coach.  This is why songwriters co-write with lots of different people.  The more you can learn about your craft, the better you will be, yes.  But the lessons you can learn about your craft from someone who has already seen the mistakes that can be made…. now that’s insight no one can afford to pass up!
PERSEVERANCE – the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult
Everyone has heard the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” But what about when you don’t succeed the 51st time, or the 88th time, or even the 1000th time.  Granted, I will admit that you have to have at least some kind of natural ability for something to be one of the best in your field.  I also believe that anything can be learned if you stick with it.  When you put natural talent with perseverance, the performance level that can be reached is infinite.  Have you been watching the Olympics too? The tricks are getting bigger, the aim is getting better, the times are getting faster, the scores are getting higher.  Truly amazing.
PASSION- a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something
This is not something anyone can teach you.  This is the irrefutable love you feel towards your sport, your craft, your gift, that drives you to pursue it in the first place.  Yes, you can be good at things without loving them, but will you be the best in the world at it if you don’t love it enough to devote all your time to get continuously better at it? Not a chance.  To quote the great Whoopi Goldberg in one of my favorite movies of all time, “If you wake up in the morning and you can’t think of anything but singing first, then you’re supposed to be a singer girl.”
Now on another note, many of you don’t know that I tried out for the Olympic Women’s Snowboarding team. More of you don’t know that I created a short instructional video.  ENJOY!
DISCLAIMER: I am in NO way a snowboarding instructor or even a good snowboarder.  Just thought you might want to see a silly video to brighten your day! : )