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Conversation with Sam Walker, author of The Captain Class

In July, the Competitor’s Heart TRIBE was blessed to welcome Wall Street Journal Editor and best-selling author, Sam Walker.  Sam shared awesome insight into his study of the captains that led great teams. You are encouraged to check out the recording of this call using the link below:

Competitor’s Heart TRIBE Coaching Call – July 16

Check out Sam Walker’s best-selling book The Captain Class.

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How will you know when your MISSION is complete?

“How do you know if your mission in life is fi nished? If you’re still alive, it isn’t.”

– Richard Bach, American Writer

The Heart of the Competitor’s mission is continuous, for it is not the pursuit of championships but of excellence. Excellence is the goal in every endeavor that is pursued. Excellence is frequently confused with perfection, however, true excellence is a commitment to continually pursuing improvements through learning opportunities.

The Mission of the Heart of a Competitor is to build mentally tough competitors that are able to continually move forward on their mission pursuing excellence in their daily habits and routines. The Heart of the Competitor desires to be known for their daily work and persistence through adversity to achieve at the highest level they are capable of achieving. A commitment to extremely strong daily routines over a long period of time allows excellence to be achieved. Excellence may be the attainment of several short-term goals or pursuit of a large long-term goal.

The Heart of the Competitor’s mission is never complete. This is not to say that busyness or “getting things done” is essential in a mission; your mission is about completing the right things. You will know they are the right things when your mind and energy are open to the opportunities around you and you are led to pursue these right opportunities.

Your mission will guide you through your life as a competitor to pursue excellence. By taking the time to establish your mission, you are allowing the experiences in your life to happen and learning opportunities to occur for excellence to be pursued.


What is an event or learning opportunity that has occurred in the last day, week, or month that has demonstrated to you that you are on the right track for your mission?

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Pushing Outside Your Comfort Zone

“No matter how good you are at planning, the pressure never goes away. So I don’t fight it. I feed off it. I turn pressure into motivation to do my best.”


– Dr. Ben Carson, Neurosurgeon


The Heart of the Competitor is constantly seeking ways to grow. These opportunities to grow may “fall into our lap” or they may be planned out. However, even in planning and preparing, the competitor is faced with situations that may not have been exactly as planned, like utilizing the GPS system that did not account for the road construction, there is a detour that now needs to be accounted for. However, it might be this detour that leads to a better way, a new experience.


We make many plans in our lives, we set lofty goals and aspire to accomplish these lofty goals and regardless of the planning we have put in place, the pressure to move forward will always be present. The Heart of the Competitor realizes this pressure will be present and feeds off it, realizing this pressure is needed for us to perform at our peak. The pressure signals to the competitor that they must call on all of their resources, focus, determination, and confidence to perform.


In seeking ways to grow, we are always at the edge of our capabilities, creating a state of unease and tension, but the mind and body will become accustomed to the stress and pressure. Dr. Ben Carson sought out ways to grow, pushing the boundaries of medicine. In pushing these boundaries, he was recognized as the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins at the head. In performing this surgery, he placed his skills at the edge of their capabilities and pushed further ahead to accomplish greatness. He took the risk, fed off the pressure and in turn, accomplished something that had never before been completed.


Question of the Day:


Name one way that you will push your boundaries, push your skills today. How are you going to push yourself?

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Community of Competitors: Character

“In self-actualizing people, the work they do might better be called “mission,” “calling,” “duty,” “vocation,” in the priest’s sense. This mission in life is actually so identified with the self that it becomes as much a part of the worker as his liver or lungs. For the truly fortunate worker, the ideally enlightened worker to take away work (mission in life) would be almost equivalent to killing him.”

– Abraham Maslow, Author of Maslow on Management

Abraham Maslow was ahead of his time. As pictured above, he established Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a hierarchy in which a lower level must be met before moving on to the higher level. This quote lends focus to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Self-Actualization. A self-actualizing person must have all of their lower level needs met.

The Heart of the Competitor establishes character that is defined by their mission or purpose. The Heart of the Competitor engrains their mission so deep within themselves, that it becomes part of their being. Maslow notes this as their work and labels them as a worker; however, he does not mention this as being their job.

Focus on your work and being a worker. The CHARACTER in the Heart of the Competitor is the mission of continued development to be the best you that you can become.

Question of the Day:

What is your MISSION/PURPOSE statement that will drive you on a daily basis?

I would love to hear what your mission or purpose is that drives you on a daily basis.  Share it with the Community of Competitors!!

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Perspective Provides Positive View of Development

The longer I am involved in the development of young people, the more I am convinced that we must maintain a perspective of development and improvement. This view of development and improvement must be maintained by adults to support the youth in their progress.

It is perspective that allows us to maintain the goal of development and improvement. We must maintain perspective and remain focused on their growth over time. Today’s society demands immediate results, however many people think this means that a student or athlete will win the “lottery” of development.

Schools are measured by their test scores. When their scores are not on par with the desired outcome, the pressure gets placed on the school and in turn the students to make sure they improve their score. This pressure on the student is not really focused on development and improvement, but pushing them to achieve an arbitrary score to satisfy a political requirement.

In the athletic arena, athletes end up being measured by the wins and losses. This is counter to development; it is akin to the arbitrary scores that are set to satisfy a political requirement. Athletes must be measured on their progress, not on their wins and losses, a fact that is out of their control.

For this week, challenge yourself to maintain a perspective of development and improvement when working with our youth.

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The PROCESS Provides Purpose, Passion, and Power

Present day society not just expects immediate results, it demands immediate results.  Everywhere you look there is a demand for results.  The mentally tough competitor must commit to the PROCESS of improvement.  A commitment to improvement provides three main things:

1.  Purpose

The mentally tough competitor that focuses on the PROCESS of improvement develops a purpose that will drive them to COMPETE everyday.  The mentally tough competitors COMPETE against themselves.  When they focus on competing with themselves, others are willing to help them.

2.  Passion

Passion is that ever-burning fire inside of the competitor to do something to improve.  The beauty of the PROCESS of improvement and the development of purpose and passion is that in a team environment it becomes a motivator for others.

3.  Power

As society expects immediate results, a mentally tough competitor establishes the power over their development and mindset when the focus on the PROCESS of improvement.

Improvement is a PROCESS.  When a competitor can maintain perspective on the PROCESS of getting better, they will develop a purpose in their life, a passion to improve, and power over their lives that others will see and emulate.

Until next week, focus on the PROCESS of improvement and enjoy the Purpose, Passion, and Power.

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What I learned from the Olympics?

The 2014 Winter Olympics have wrapped up and many people are already looking forward to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.  It makes no difference whether we are watching athletes compete in the Winter or the Summer Olympics, each of these competitions are a feeding frenzy for the importance of the mental game in competition.

 After watching these 2014 Winter Games, I was reminded of two important parts of competition.

  1. It is about the process.

Many Olympic events are based on an individual activity focusing on achieving the lowest time at the moment.  This is the epitome of the process.  It is the athlete versus the half pipe, the ski slope, or the bobsled track.  They have no control over the other athlete’s and their time, but they have total control over their focus and attention to the task at hand.

2.  It is the athlete that performs the best that wins.

The Olympics is a process and performance-based event.  In any event, there is a “favorite” to win a medal.  Even the favorite must go out and perform the best to win the medal.  Olympic medals are not given out before an event; they are given out after an individual has earned it.

A successful life is often expensive.  It will cost you something to become a champion.

Time.  Energy.  Focus.

Dominate the Day With Enthusiasm and Energy.