The Heart of a Champion

The Heart of a Champion

 “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”

Champions are not just made in the gym, on the field, or in the classroom. A champion comes from within. It is a part of your heart that cannot be simply defined. It is a part of the heart that holds a deep desire, undeniable determination, goal oriented visions, and an overall dream that lights a fire in the hearts of those who can’t shake the feeling of never giving up. It is a part of a champion that has the will to succeed and the will to fight through the pain. A champion is not measured by the wins, but by the passion within. A champion does not fall, but rises every time they are faced with a challenge. A champion does not break or fold under pressure, but pushes back when the sport gets hard. A champion is more than just an athlete. It is so, so much more than that.

Many athletes, coaches, and parents seek winning and only winning. They measure level and skill by the amount of wins their team or athlete has, by the stats they see on the computer, and by comparison to other athletes and teams. They chase the name of “champion” with the thought of it being easily defined by a single notion of winning and winning only. It is easy to ignore, not acknowledge, and misunderstand that a champion is not what is formed and obviously seen on the outside, but it is created, formed, and built from the inside. A champion is so much more than a record. It is so much more than statistics. It is so much more than a winner.

Winning records may give you the title of being a champion for that day, for that weekend, and for that moment, but what makes an athlete a champion every day? It is not all of the trophies sitting on the windowsill, medals hanging, game balls and home run balls sitting on their dresser, or plaques plastered on the walls. A champion is the athlete who has the heart and the will to consistently create and work to reach new goals, to practice without being told, to go the extra mile when their mind tells them no, to fight through the obstacles, always finds time for honing in on their skills, and to keep working hard to get better on every aspect of the game and their position on the field. A true champion is not just given that title for the day; they hold the meaning of that word within their heart every single day.

Every athlete at some point loses, has a bad day, and has a performance that does not reveal their potential. That is normal and it is inevitable. But the unfortunate part  is when those times trigger the words that slip out of our mouths and into our minds that demean the person, coach, and athlete that we are and are capable of being. We let those hard times define if we are good enough, if we are capable, and if we are a champion. Win or lose, the heart of a champion does not fade. The heart of a champion cannot be taken away. The heart of a champion cannot be defined by their good days and bad days. The heart of the champion remains a piece of them that stays lit and full of desire to keep fighting to get better, to keep positively envisioning themselves, and to keep striving towards their dreams.

“Champions don’t show up to get everything they want; they show up to give everything they have.”

Written by Nikoli Sharp

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