I’ve often compared the level of discipline and focus found in high-performance workers to that found in elite athletes. I’m lucky enough to have been both, and here are a handful of similarities the two disciplines share.
- Training. Both groups train relentlessly to hone their area of expertise, focusing on relevant metrics to guide their progress. For a sprinter, it might be his 50-yard-dash time, while a content producer might focus on the number of articles she can churn out before lunch.
- Focus. Elite athletes and high-performance workers know how to to mentally get “in the zone” on command.
- Anticipation. Elite athletes observe and anticipate opponents’ actions based on contextual information. In baseball, for example, an outfielder knows at the point of contact whether a batter will hit a shallow fly ball or a homerun, whereas a fan might erroneously think every fly ball is going out of the park.
- Mental tenacity. High-performance workers and elite athletes alike know how to push beyond mental barriers, motivating themselves to maintain maximum effort all the while.
- Healthy habits. Elite athletes know not to sabotage their efforts on the field, court or pitch with a subpar diet, inadequate sleep and little to no restorative efforts. High-performance workers similarly nourish their body and mind between peak work periods.