How to become a sports hero

Serena_Williams_Dish_Venus_Rosewater_2015We all want to live up to our sports heroes. They are beacons of inspiration, saying it’s possible to become as talented, healthy and skilled as them. Yet, inspiration only goes so far. We need to consider ourselves not as trying to be like our sports heroes, but heroes in our own right. The question is: how do we become someone worthy of being considered an icon of fitness?

Role models only go so far

Seeing others like us can do wonders for our aspirations and life goals. This is why there’s a big push to make female athletes more visible, ideally to inspire more girls to try enter the world of sport. Currently, things are not equal. Through showing equality is possible, we make it so.

But role models aren’t sufficient. We must recognise they’ve set a path so we can walk it, not merely admire it. There are well-known benefits to having those we can look up to. It’s often seen in a work setting. Yet, the psychology behind it remains universal. As Psychology Today points out, seeing is believing. And belief is what leads to action:

“One thing we know is that people don’t attempt to achieve something unless they believe it can be done. We know that people are much more likely to attempt to do things if they’ve seen that someone like them can do it.”

Knowing it’s possible also allows us to create a template.

Use role models as a template for action

Talented sportspeople, like Serena Williams or Muhammad Ali, didn’t become giants overnight. No one just decided to put them on covers of magazines nor did fame merely happen to them. They worked at it.

For example, knowing how Serena Williams trains could be helpful to plot out our own fitness regime. Williams is not as strict as you might think and conveys the importance of not being bored with your workout. As she told Fitness Magazine:

“For me it’s so important to mix it up. I ran, and then I biked. Then I did elliptical. That didn’t work out so well, because it was boring, so I tried yoga. I started dancing because I couldn’t train when I was sick. We started making up moves, and it was fun. Now I run for 10 minutes, and then I dance.”

There are hundreds of ways to exercise, but seeing our roles models and how they train can do wonders to get us on our feet. Knowing Williams is as prone to boredom as the rest of us, despite being the world’s greatest athlete, is encouraging.

Group dynamics

Following your role model and working out is helpful. After all, you only become good through training.

Yet you might need other kinds of motivations, such as working in a group. You might find more success as part of a crew for sailing, for example. To help you reach your goal, take a competent crew course and any other form of training to put you on level with others. Essentially, your group can become your role model as you all try be as competent as each other. Knowing others rely on you for success can do a lot to encourage us to stay on form.

These are just some ways we can carve out a path toward sports success.