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10 Life Lessons To Learn From The Greatest Athletes In The World

10 Life Lessons To Learn From The Greatest Athletes In The World

BY Andre Brown

10 Life Lessons To Learn From The Greatest Athletes In The World

We usually don’t look to sports for life lessons on how to carry ourselves, how we should conduct business, or even advice on our relationships.

Sports offers more than the cliche quotes of “hard work and dedication” if you look close enough you’ll find that organized sports share all of the similar life lessons that your favorite 90’s sitcoms have without coming off as “preachy.”

The world’s greatest athletes display exemplary qualities in life, whether it be hard work, persistence, dedication, or just plain will. You should look to adopt some of their mantras into your own life.

Conor McGregor

conor-mcgregor

Lesson: There’s no substitute for hard work.

Conor McGregor is the biggest UFC fighter in the world and arguably the most dominant pound for pound fighters to ever step foot in the octagon.

Conor wasn’t always that fighter that we know today. Hard work and dedication made the Irish fighter a champion.

He never allows himself to be outworked, saying:

“There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist, we are all equal as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that is that. I am not talented, I am obsessed.”

What you can take away from this:

With everything in life, if you want to be great at anything you need to work on that craft, put in your 10,000 hours. Be the greatest at what you do, every time, all the time.


Floyd Mayweather

Lesson: Timing is everything.

Watch Floyd Mayweather’s defensive highlight video above and watch his tactful efficiency.

Floyd’s defensive prowess is unlike any other, he ducks, rolls and sometimes takes a punch in order to put himself in position to deliver the harder punch.

What you can take away from this:

Roll with the punches life throws at you. Like our good days, bad days are inevitable.

They come with a vengeance, they’re swift and disruptive but the pain never lasts last long. Learn that you get hit, but sometimes you get hit in order to throw the counter punch.

That’s all it takes in life you have to have the endurance and will to weather the storm when it gets bad and the patience and humility to to be able to truly appreciate the sun when it shines.


Allen Iverson

allen-iverson

Lesson: Do it your way and nobody else’s.

Allen Iverson is solely responsible for bringing hip hop style and culture to the NBA, and he didn’t do it on purpose, he was just being himself:

“I took an ass-kicking for me being me in my career… My whole thing was just being me.”

Although, Allen Iverson faced criticism by the media, the NBA, and even fans alike being called everything from a delinquent to a thug; Iverson continued to be himself and is now responsible for the modern style and look of the current NBA. Because of Iverson, the NBA even installed a dress code to keep players from coming to games in sweatpants, fitteds, and wild jewelry.

What you can take away from this:

Do you, dare to stand out. Being yourself is what makes you who you are, it’s what sets you apart from the crowd. The Leader of the pack is often the one that stands out, the one that creates his own rules.


Kevin Durant

kevin-durant

Lesson: Take criticism with a grain of salt.

This past summer Kevin Durant a 7th time All Star, 4x NBA Scoring Champion and the former leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder left Oklahoma to join his rivals in Oakland.

Kevin Durant faced a lot of criticism from this move, people considered him weak, a traitor, and even burned his jersey. The city that once loved him, now hated him.

Durant takes all of the criticism in stride as he was quoted saying

“I can’t really say anything to make them feel any different, but just still go out there and be who I am as a basketball player and as a person, and like I said, life moves on.”

What you can take away from this:

Form your own path against resistance. Do what makes you happy, what feels right to you. It’s your life and ultimately you have to live with the decisions that are made in it. You may face opposition but know that pressure creates diamonds.


Kobe Bryant

kobe-bryant

Lesson: Leave the game on your own accord.

Kobe’s legend is widely known. I don’t have to tell you about his 5 championship rings, or his MVP titles, or talk about the time he dropped 81 points against the Raptors.

He is highly regarded as the greatest Laker of all time and that’s a huge deal considering the company the Lakers keep. Recently Kobe made history with the storybook ending to his 20-year career with a season-high 60 points.

And if that wasn’t enough he drained the game winner. Fairy Tale ending to a storied career.

What you can take away from this:

Go out with a Bang, Finish everything on a high note, whether that is your last two weeks at a job or your last semester in school.

A grand exit will make a lasting impression. In life it is always a positive to keeps your bridges maintained (don’t burn them). You never know when you’re going to need to cross it again.


Cristiano Ronaldo

cristiano

Lesson: Do it for the right reasons.

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the world’s most prominent soccer player, and Athlete of modern time. He also holds the record for the most charitable athlete:

“My father always taught me that when you help other people, then God will give you double, and that’s what has really happened to me. When I have helped other people who are in need, God has helped me more.”

Cristiano makes it a point to give back to the fans and people in need and whether you believe in karma or not, Cristiano seems to have some pretty good luck.

What you can take away from this:

Give back to the people around you. There are many benefits to helping others out especially on your own psyche. Some of those benefits include, boosts of self esteem, stronger friendships, and even a sense of belonging.


Michael Phelps

michael-phelps

Lesson: Settle for nothing but being the best.

Michael Phelps is the most dominant Olympian of all time, with 28 medals, 23 of them gold. It’s safe to say that whenever Michael is competing he is going home with a medal and more often than not that medal is gold.

Phelps is so dominant at what he does that if he were a country he would place 11th out of 43 countries that hold a medal for men’s swimming:

“I wanted to be the greatest of all time, and there was nothing anybody could do to stop me.”

It’s safe to say, that no one stopped Phelps.

What you can take away from this:

Dominate. Do the best at whatever you do, whenever you do it.


Odell Beckham Jr.

odell-beckham-jr

Lesson: If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.

Odell Beckham literally does everything his way from the way he catches the footballs, to the dance moves, to the touchdown celebrations, and even that now iconic blonde mohawk-fro-thing he’s got goin’ on.

What you can take away from this:

Add your flavor to everything! People take notice when you don’t just do things by the book and you add your spin to it they also appreciate it more.

It looks as if you’re having fun. People are attracted to a man that doesn’t take himself too seriously, but still has fun, and is successful at what they do. Take it from Odell:

“Don’t you dare shrink yourself for someone else’s comfort-do not become small for people who refuse to grow.”


Steph Curry

stephen-curry

Lesson: Confidence and heart is more important than anything else.

Coming out of high school Stephen Curry was overlooked by every major college basketball program in the country. Although, he was one of the top high school players, he was not truly scouted.

His hometown school Davidson, a small college in North Carolina, offered him a spot and from there he played with a chip on his shoulder and brought his squad to the elite 8 from the unknown.

Even though Steph was easily one of the best players in the tournament that year, there were still doubts on whether he could take his talents to the NBA and play with professionals with his small frame, and constant ankle injuries.

Curry is so confident in his abilities he’ll take a shot and run back on defense around before the ball even goes in,

“Every time I rise up I have confidence I’m going to make it.”

What you can take away from this:

Curry isn’t the biggest, fastest or most athletic person on the court, he doesn’t have breakaway speed like Russell Westbrook, or the athleticism and size that LeBron possesses, but he wills himself to be the best player on the court.

Anything is possible when you put time, effort, and belief of self into it. Confidence in yourself is key in every aspect in life.


Tom Brady

tom-brady

Lesson: Capitalize on opportunities when they come to you.

Tom Brady is a living legend, and to think he got this opportunity on the misfortune of former Patriots great Drew Bledsoe.

Bledsoe was running towards the sideline when he was knocked senseless by Moe Lewis. Bledsoe suffered internal injuries and was sidelined for weeks. Then-unknown Tom Brady became the starting Quarterback. Brady said of the opportunity,

“The only thing I can control is myself and my performance, my coach has only given me the opportunity to compete everyday, and that’s the only thing that I’ve asked for and the only thing that has been fair.”

Brady accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion, taking the position permanently. Now, he is highly regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

What you can learn from this:

When an Opportunity is presented to you, take it seriously, give everything you’ve got, believe in your preparation. Capitalize and one day you may be a champion.

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Andre Brown

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Andre was born and raised Northern Virginia, born right outside of Washington DC where he went to community college to pursue a degree in web development and design. He now lives in the New York Metropolitan area where he enjoys being a foodie, exploring the city and and meeting new people.

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