High-Performance Workers Are Like Elite Athletes

elite athletes

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Focus. Elite athletes and high-performance workers know how to to mentally get "in the zone" on command.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.