True Grit: The Secret to Success in Your Fitness and Athletic Goals

An Article in Olympic Coach Magazine suggests that grit, or the ability to work hard and consistently over the long haul, is equally (and in some cases more) important than talent for individuals seeking to become successful in their field of interest.

Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining both effort and interest over years and years—despite failure, adversity, and even just stalls in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course.

This seems obvious to anyone who takes seriously the children’s story about the Tortoise and the Hare. We all know that the Tortoise won. And we know why. He didn’t work hard for just one moment and then get lazy. He consistently worked within the bounds of his capacity, never gave up, and always stayed focussed on his goal. The far more naturally talented Hare didn’t have grit, and he lost.

As a trainer, I can tell you that talent doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t use it. Some of my most successful athletes started at the bottom of the talent pool. But, they have a work drive that is staggering.

Check out this “grit” test, and see where you are and where you could improve.

UPDATE:  Turns out the aforementioned “grit” test doesn’t actually give you a result, but simply sends in your info for the study … still interesting though.

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