Thinking Like A Champion

Champions live and do things differently. They have a mindset that allows them to look at life from a different perspective.

Jim Howard

I’ve had the honor of coaching all kinds of champions; champions on the field, in business and in life.

What I know about being a champion  is there are certain things all champions have in common. Yet none of these things are common.

person standing on brown concrete building during daytime

Champions live and do things differently. They have a mindset that allows them to look at life from a different perspective.

1. Champions don’t run from challenges. They look for ways to be challenged.

Champions continuously set goals, work hard to develop the skill sets necessary to achieve those goals, and once they do, they set higher goals and continue to strive.

It’s this continuous drive that sets them apart from the rest of the world and forces them to compete at a higher level.

2. Champions work hard when it’s easy, so it’s easier to work hard.

In other words, champions prepare more than the average person. They understand if they work the hardest in practice, they will be prepared for the hard work that is required on game day.

Every team I have ever coached has been taught the most important day of the week is TODAY. That means practice is as important if not more important than game day.

Games are not won on game day; games are won in practice. If you’re not putting enough effort in your day to day life then when your job is on the line, you won’t be prepared to step up to the plate and swing for the fence.

3. Champions perform as if each performance is their last performance.

Champions know there is no such thing as a throw away performance. Life is built on momentum, and when it’s going your way you want to ride that momentum as far as you can. The moment you let up or don’t perform at your best, you run the risk of losing momentum. And if you do, you may never get it back.

Always strive for perfection. You may never reach it, but getting close means you’ll be great!

4. Champions celebrate their victories but quickly look toward their next battle.

Victories are great, and winning is much better than losing. You should celebrate your wins, but champions limit that celebration to a short time before they move on and start preparing for the next challenge.

I have never coached a championship football team that only won one game.

When we win we celebrate with the knowledge there will be another game next week, and we need to build on this victory in order to win the next one.

Celebrate your wins; lick your wounds after a loss. But in both cases, get it over quickly, and prepare to move forward.

5. Champions understand there IS an “I” in TEAM, and each individual has a responsibility that impacts the outcome for the team as a whole.

We like to think that there is no “I” in team. In fact at several recent events I’ve spoken at I asked the question, “What do you know about a team?” The response was overwhelmingly, “there’s no I in team.”

As a coach, I know a team is nothing more than a collection of individual efforts focused toward the same goal.

This means if one individual  doesn’t do their job, it affects the whole team. Champions always strive to do their best; they know as they succeed, the team will also.

Champions are the elite,  separated from the rest of the world by how they approach life. The great thing is anyone can become a champion if they are willing to change the way they think.

Do you want to become a champion? All you have to do is challenge yourself like a champion, prepare like a champion, perform like a champion, celebrate like a champion, do your best like a champion, and LIVE LIFE

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Jim Howard

With over 30 years in commercial print, branding and publishing, Jim Howard has dedicated much of his life to helping entrepreneurs, CEOs and business owners move ahead in their business. Follow him at,

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