/NOTE: I received this letter in an email from Mitch's ski coach. Mitch is my third child and currently skis in the J3 class for the McCall Ski Racing Team. I was impressed by Pete Petry's challenge to equip my son mentally and physically for this year's racing season./
It takes a combination of things to become a successful athlete. If you look at any top professional athlete, Ted Ligety, Lindsey Vonn, Kerry Walsh, Kobe Bryant etc you will notice a certain swagger in addition to their outstanding athletic abilities. They seem to radiate with confidence and inner-belief no matter how good or bad the event is going. These athletes are physically strong but more importantly mentally stronger. We have all watched anyone of these athletes get behind in a competition, make a mistake and put themselves in an unfavorable position; in addition we have all watched countless heroic comebacks by such athletes; Ted’s gold medal performance at the ’06 Olympics is a great example … behind after the downhill portion of the combined event Ted let it all hang out in the slalom and look what happened …America’s newest ski racing sensation!!! Ted battled the odds and came out on top.
It takes a lot of hard work to get to the top and although conditioning is an essential component it is not the most significant component. In addition to spending countless hours in the gym top athletes have reached the pinnacle of their respective sports because they belief in themselves and their abilities. Please go to www.merriam-webster.com and look up each of these words, even if you already know what they mean … the screen will show an ‘Enter a word or phrase’ box. Some of the words have a number of different meanings so look for the one I have outlined below. Write these definitions down next to the word. Why are you doing this??? Top athletes in any sport deal with or have a significant amount of every one of these words within themselves. *** One more thing to keep in mind … a majority of today’s top athletes came from small, humble little programs such as MSRT, there is nothing fancy or special about it or them for that matter. You all have the chance to succeed.
2. Ambition: (1.b.)
3. Belief: (1)
4. Persist: (1) …as in persistent.
6. Competitive: (2)
10. Character: (2,a,c)
11. Leader: (2,d, #2)
12. Commitment: (2,c)