When he felt he couldn’t last any longer, he gave a furious kick. The champion yanked on Don’s hair and pulled him up out of the water.
Don gulped in air for a few moments as he watched the veteran swimmer and tried to figure out what it all meant. Finally, the older swimmer spoke.
“What did you desire when Ifirst pushed your head under the water? ” he asked.
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“To be a swimming champion, ” Don answered between gasps.
“Andjust before I pulled you out of the water, what was your greatest desire? ”
“A breath of air! ”
“When you desire to be a world champion as much as you desired that breath of air, ” the former champion said, “then you will be willing to work hard enough to become a champion.
“And now you know the secret to my success, ” he added.
Burning desire: foundation for great achievement
Desire is not something that can be given to you. It comes from within.
“Champions are persistent and dedicated,” Workout and Fitness says. “They are able to control and direct their physical and mental energies. And when they make decisions, they are more often right than wrong.”
You can’t depend on your coach or trainer – or anyone else – to motivate you. In fact, many of the great coaches interviewed in an ESPN television special called “The Great Motivators” use a low-key approach to motivation.
On that program, Mike Ditka, who within four years coached the Chicago Bears – a football team that had not made the playoffs in years – to a Super Bowl victory, said, “I don’t believe in motivation.”
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