“It’s a Wonderful, Horrible Feeling” by Shaun White as told to Alyssa Roenigk (ESPN, 22 Feb 2010). Better knows as the Flying Tomato, Mr. White (age 21) is considered to be one of the best snowboarders in the world. He is certainly the most recognizable.
It’s not often someone of such a young age shares an idea such as:
You know how I said that everyone assumes this is easy for me? Well, I probably downplay the one easy part: I cut out a lot of prep time by visualizing complicated tricks. But I still have to practice, and it still gets gnarly and terrifying. I slam my back against the ice all day just like anyone else. And there are still times when I show up at the mountain and think, I hate this. I don’t want to be here. The halfpipe is terrible. It’s cold. Then I look over at the next guy, and he hates it. And the next guy, he hates it too. Then I get this amazing feeling. Great. Everybody hates it. Their spirits are down. I am going to rip this halfpipe. The best riders shine through in bad weather. I’m probably the most prepared of anyone.
To me, it’s simple. If you really want to do something you can figure it out. If you hurt your hand and you have to write with the other, you figure it out. You adapt. I am a big fan of doing what you are really bad at. A lot.
There you have it boys & girls, this gold winner’s four keys to being world-class:
1) Visualize success
2) Suck it up in order to rise above the rest
3) Perseverance and adaptation
4) Get out of your comfort zone and force yourself to do what you’re bad at
Sound just like a day at the office sometimes, eh? Simple and brilliant at the same time.