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Whether you want to be a better athlete, musician, public speaker or almost anything else, one of the keys to success is to practice.

Nine-time New York Marathon winner Grete Waitz once said, “For every finish-line tape a runner breaks, complete with the cheers of the crowd and the clicking of hundreds of cameras, there are the hours of hard and often lonely work that rarely gets talked about.”

We understand that practice is a necessity for greatness, but there are times when it gets tiresome and you feel like giving up.

When you feel like that, here are three reasons to keep going:

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In 2011, India won the Cricket World Cup, a tremendous achievement that was celebrated ecstatically by a country that treats the game like a religion.

At the fore-front of their win was the “Little Master,” Sachin Tendulkar.  One of the greatest batsmen in history, this was Sachin’s sixth World Cup and his first win, adding to his already long list of cricketing accomplishments.

He is the leading run scorer in both Test Cricket and One-Day Internationals, and even in the twilight of his career is still one of the most feared batsmen going around. 

What can we learn from Sachin Tendulkar?

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English: Golf driving practice range with 43 l...

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If you play golf, it’s always a good idea to get to the course nice and early and hit a bucket of balls to get the cobwebs out.

Professional golfers do it, and if it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me.

The reason we do this is to get the body into rhythm for the round ahead and to see if you need to make any adjustments to your swing or grip before you tee off on the first hole.

If you don’t do it, you risk embarrassing yourself in front of the clubhouse with your first drive, setting yourself up for a disastrous day.

This principle is important in other areas of life as well.

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Photo courtesy of flickr

 

Out of all of the Track and Field events in the Olympic Games, one that I am always intrigued by is the high jump.  

There can be great drama in watching amazing athletes attempt to jump over an increasingly high bar.  

Will they make it?  If they flick the bar on the way over will it fall off?  Will someone one day miss the mat completely, giving us one of the greatest sporting bloopers of all time?  

The current men’s world record for the high jump is an astonishing 2.45 meters and was set in 1993 by Javier Sotomayor from Cuba and the women’s record is an amazing 2.09 metres, set by Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria in 1987.  These are genuinely incredible results!  

I think that there are some important principles to learn from this great event.  So what can we learn from high jumpers?  

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English: Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson and ...

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Growing up, I loved basketball and as a Boston Celtics fan, Larry Bird was my hero.

He was a ruthless competitor who wanted to win at all costs.  He ended his career with three NBA titles and three MVP awards.  He also played in 12 All-Star games, testament to his consistency.

Whilst he was 6 foot 9 inches tall, he certainly wasn’t blessed with the same athletic abilities of many of his peers.  He knew that talent alone wasn’t going to get the job done, so he found other ways to get to the top.

What can we learn from Larry Bird?

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