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On June 1st, 2011 it was confirmed that NY Mets Hall of Famer, Gary Carter, has inoperable brain cancer.

In a statement released by his family, they shared, “Gary was always a fierce competitor on the baseball field and that same tenacity will help him not only fight but win this battle, so please join Team Carter and continue to pray with our family.”

I believe them. And though Gary died from cancer in 2012, he won by how he showed up and didn’t give up…by how he inspired others to live and love life fiercely. One can lose their life to cancer…but that does not mean they lost the battle.

I also believe in circumstances such as those Carter faced, athletes have tools and training they can draw on to give them an edge.  They understand how to:

  • Consult and work with experts to design a game plan
  • Break the plan down into day by day steps that lead to achieving a major overall goal
  • Create accountability to stick with the plan
  • Use a team approach for support and access to an exponentially higher number of resources and skills than would be available to one person
  • Celebrate wins and overcome setbacks

That the family has already taken on the name Team Carter reflects the strategy they’ve chosen for what may be the biggest challenge of Carter’s life.  The stakes are much higher than winning a game, a season, a title or a trophy.

Success Magazine recently published an article by Don Yaeger, Overcoming Obstacles: Five Athletes Who Refused to Acknowledge Limitations.  These stories all tell the tale of an individual with a dream, a challenge and a passion to achieve it no matter what.

The heart of an athlete holds many important lessons:

  • Mastery requires approximately 10,000 hours of practice.  When you set a goal or are handed a challenge, dig deep and be prepared to invest significant time and resources.
  • Athletes do not become winners on their own.  Enroll teammates and a coach to support you toward your goal.
  • They tap into physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength.  Make sure your plan touches on The Four Facets.
  • Athletes integrate both personal accountability and external accountability.  They keep their word to themselves when they commit to a plan and they have a coach or team to hold them to it externally for times when then need just a bit more.
  • Athletes dig down when the going gets tough and keep going.
  • When they come up against a block, athletes work with their coaches to add new tools to assess what’s not working, where their stuck and what they need to do to move forward.

Anatomically, the heart of an athlete is no different than anyone else.  It is a frame of mind, a way of being.  It is a way of life.

Ask me how you can access your inner athlete to overcome the major challenges you’re facing.  It’s time to create a plan, break down the steps and be in action toward making it happen.

It’s time to be the hero in your own story.

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