The 2 Main Things that Determine Almost Everything in Life & Sport – PLUS 10 Things that Don’t Require Any TALENT

‘The 2 things in life you are in TOTAL control over are your ATTITUDE & EFFORT’ – Billy Cox 

ATTITUDE: The Choice We Have

We know that positive attitude and positive thinking create positive energy allowing us the probability of experiencing success. However, as simple as it sounds, there is one key piece of information that we should keep in mind regarding attitude.

Attitude: The CHOICE is YOURS”

The attitude we choose to adopt all comes down to our own personal ‘choice’. Yes, we have a choice in the attitude we want to embrace. Our attitude not only affects how we feel, but how we perform. It is not always easy to maintain a positive attitude, however, it is something we can learn, and ultimately choose to do.

“Our ATTITUDE is our PERSONAL CHOICE and affects how we Perform”

By choosing to assume a positive attitude, we can teach ourselves to seek out the positives in our most distressful situations. Even in the direst circumstances, there is still something we can take away – a learning experience, an opportunity to grow. A single performance does not define us as a person.

“Our ATTITUDE will determine how we understand and LEARN from our experience”

The longer we hold onto the negative attitude, the longer it will take us to re-calibrate our mindset and allow ourselves the chance to feel success again. In the end, it is our attitude that will determine how we understand and learn from our experiences. The choice is yours.

Six steps to develop and maintain a winning/positive attitude (Baum & Trubo, 1999):

  1. Let Go of Your Ego – by setting your ego aside and dissociating yourself with any emotional wounds we can begin to see our shortcomings as a learning experience and make the necessary modifications to our training programs.
  2. Keep Your Sense of Humor – sometimes, we have to be willing to laugh at ourselves. Mistakes are going to happen, sports are fun, and it is important to always hold onto the joy and exhilaration of competing.
  3. View Change as Opportunity – sometimes things are going to happen that we have no control over. Instead of perceiving these as negative, take the time to re-position yourself to use the change to your advantage.
  4. Decide in Advance What You Want – it is important to plan ahead as much as possible. What is your goal for this season? How do you plan to achieve it? How will you react when things do not go your way? – Read the Goal-Setting Post!!
  5. Temporary Let Downs are Normal – one of the only constants in sports, is that we will experience ups and downs, this is a reality of sports and life. Again, learn as much as you can from setbacks and stay focused on your goals.
  6. Take Some Time Off – it is always a good idea to be able to take some time away from training and competition. Try to maintain a balance, and schedule regular days off to do something fun and take your mind off performing. Sometimes taking a step back can provide the necessary perspective to see things clearer.

Attitude & Ownership:

The ATTITUDE of OWNERSHIP means YOU believe that your participation is YOUR OWNYOU take OWNERSHIP of your Determination, Efforts, Successes, Failures, & Rewards – take ownership and responsibility for all your successes and failures.

The Questions of Ownership:

  1. Do you take Responsibility for everything that impacts your performance?
  2. Do you give your best Effort consistently?
  3. Do you make excuses or blame others when you don’t perform well?
  4. Do you give up quickly when things get difficult


On any given day we determine how hard we will work. So make the CHOICE to put forth YOUR best EFFORT regardless of what is going on around you or how you Feel. ENJOY your participation in Training and Competition.

If you are “not feeling like it”…do it anyway.

If you are sad…do it anyway.

If you are busy…do it anyway.

If you are tired…do it anyway.

If you are not feeling good…do it  anyway.

If you are “too stressed”…do it anyway.

If you are unmotivated…do it anyway.

If you are on vacation…do it anyway.

If you are unsure…do it anyway.

If you find yourself making excuses…do it anyway.

Ten Things that Require Zero Talent:

  1. Being on Time
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Effort
  4. Body Language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Being Coachable
  9. Doing Extra
  10. Being Prepared

If anything, make sure you are taking care of these 10 things that are totally within your CONTROL!! YOUR CHOICE…


Baum, K & Trubo, R. (1999). The mental edge: Maximize your sports potential with the mind-body connection. New York, NY: The Berkley Publishing Group.