When most people think of Nike, they tend to think of super athletes who Just Do IT! Folks like Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, LeBron, Federer, Sharapova; maybe a few fallen stars, like Lance Armstrong and Pistorius; those on the rise again, like Tiger; controversial ones like Kaepernick; and now, a lost star, who showed us an 81 point game and 30 points in one quarter (twice) could be real things. The world will miss Kobe.
But when Nike employees picture someone, they still think of a scrappy, 5’9”, 139 lbs mustachioed runner named Steve Prefontaine, otherwise known in running circles as Pre. Prefontaine was the prized pupil of the company’s co-founder, Bill Bowerman, from his coaching days at the University of Oregon. His spirit is the cornerstone of the company.
He competed in every race as a life or death experience, and was fond of saying, “Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” His philosophy and style were to run without limits, to test t
Renowned coaches are often asked what the difference is between the best athletes and everyone else. In other words, “What do really successful people do that most people don’t?” Of course, there are the typical responses of genetics, luck, and talent.
But there’s an added element most don’t think of…It is the will to be relentless and resilient in the Grind. It’s the ability to handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts, drills and film review over and over again that separates the professionals from the amateurs.
Think about it this way – it’s not that the best athletes have some insane, boundless passion or willpower others don’t; it can even be the exact opposite. They can feel the same boredom and lack of motivation everyone else experiences and aren’t immune to the sometimes tedious heft of the daily grind.
What sets them apart is their commitment to the process. They fall in love with the daily practice, with the repetition, and