Who Becomes a Champion?

Below is a blog that I wrote almost two years ago inspired by Donnie Shankle and Jon North. I thought now would be a proper time to let it resurface with the World Championships going on and the American Open coming up.

Don’t miss the Mash Mafia Dec. 20th Weightlifting Competition! Come celebrate the holidays at the Mash Compound with some bar slams and coffee! Click on the link below for information:

Jingle Bars Weightlifting Meet at the Mash Compound!

Join me this weekend in Eagan, MN at Undisputed Strength and Conditioning also check out the first Learn 2 Lift of the Year right here at the Mash Compound January 10th and 11th. Weightlifting and Powerlifting taught by Coach Mash and the Mash Crew! Click below for more information:

Learn 2 Lift January 10th and 11th!


​Last week I talked about the four necessities to become a world champion: minimums, maximums, fearless attitude, and a positive group setting. This week I am focusing on the individual human component required to become a champion in any sport or anything. The traits that I am talking about in this blog apply to all people who want to Great! If you want to be President of the United States, Olympic Gold Medalist, or the best teacher in America, you will be required to have these traits: Extraordinary Desire, Relentless Determination, and a Fearless Attitude. If your goal in life is to do something absolutely amazing, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I really have these qualities present in my life?” If not, get them or be honest with yourself. Let’s take a look at each of them!

​An extraordinary person has to have an Extraordinary Desire. No one ever does something amazing without having a burning desire to be amazing. My friend and co-host on my podcast Weightlifting Talk (http://www.spreaker.com/page#!/show/the_jon_north_show) Jon North had an Extraordinary Desire to be the best weightlifter in America, and that desire took precedent in his life. He lived in his car with his wife, just so he could train with the best lifters in California. He worked out 3-5 times per day, and he performed workouts so brutal that one of his teammate’s rib cages collapsed under the pressure of the bar. None of the grueling workouts, poverty stricken conditions, or the never ending expectations of coaches could make Jon sway from his goal of becoming the champ. Steven Jobs wasn’t going to allow anyone to stop him from growing the most dominant software company in America. All of these people demonstrate an Extraordinary Desire as a common characteristic that they all possess that sets them apart from others. This Extraordinary Desire gives them that edge to do the things that others won’t. This gives them the ability to become the Masters of the Mundane, or the ability to do the little things. These people will eat to win, sleep to win, study to win, practice to win, or whatever it takes to dominate their passion.

​This Extraordinary Desire has to be present along with Relentless Determination to turn dreams into reality. This determination is what gets you out of bed every day, it’s what gets you to practice, and it’s what gives you the ability to eat like others won’t. Desire without determination is useless. Determination allows the person to have an unyielding commitment to not quit, and it allows them to form a plan that they refuse to sway or alter. Donnie Shankle, America’s best 105kilo Weightlifter, demonstrates “Relentless Determination” more than anyone that I have ever met. Donnie sleeps in a recliner because a bed hurts his already battle damaged spine. This guy has suffered a broken neck from a bar loaded with 374lbs crashing from overhead directly on his cervical spine. He is 32 years old, and he doesn’t have a cell phone. He recently dislocated his shoulder during training. The normal person would have quit long ago, but Donnie refuses. This guy has one thing on his mind, and that is the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. His determination will not allow him to quit until his dream is reality.

​Donnie’s “Fearless Attitude” is what gives him the ability to hurl himself courageously under the same or greater weights that have been the cause of his injuries. Donnie told me that the one thing that all coaches would agree on as to what genetic trait must be present in an athlete for them to be great is a “Fearless Attitude”. In the sport of weightlifting that manifests itself as the ability to go under heavy weights and catch them above one’s head. This same ability is what gives an athlete the ability to catch a football knowing a 250lb linebacker is about to deliver a crushing blow. It is what gives a basketball player the confidence to make a game winning three point shot. This trait is the one that is most commonly absent in athletes, and it is the hardest to teach. Over the years of coaching I have learned to improve this characteristic, but if it is completely missing, it probably won’t appear. This is that certain something that incredible athletes and individuals demonstrate while their competition does not.

​These three characteristics are rare! Not many people have them all together, but when they do, amazing results are the outcome. Take a good look in the mirror, and ask yourself these three questions, “Do I have an extraordinary desire? Do I demonstrate a relentless determination? Do I really have a fearless attitude?” Your answers will tell you the potential that you possess!

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